LAST season's top two will go head-to-head as Arsenal host Manchester City in a blockbuster match at the Emirates TODAY!
Both sides have picked up from where they left off and made impressive starts to the 2023/24 Premier League campaign.
The North London outfit are unbeaten in domestic competitions this season and sit 3rd in England's top flight.
In midweek, however, Arsenal suffered a shock defeat in the Champions League after Lens beat the Gunners 2-1 to hand Arteta's side their first loss of the campaign.
Meanwhile, Treble winners Man City sit second in the Premier League despite tasting defeat to Wolves in their last domestic outing.
Pep Guardiola's side bounced back on Wednesday night to beat German side RB Leipzig 3-1 in the Champions League.
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Arsenal and Man City last met in the Community Shield just two months ago, with the Gunners running out winners on penalties.
But prior to that Arsenal lost eight consecutive matches against the title rivals.
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What is their form like?
City made an explosive start to the season before a tricky week saw them lose back-to-back games against Newcastle in the Carabao Cup and Wolves.
They found form again with an impressive away win at Leipzig but this will be their biggest test yet.
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Guardiola will be encouraged by the good form shown by Julian Alvarez and Jeremy Doku.
However City's record without Rodri, who is suspended, will be a cause for concern.
Meanwhile Arsenal will be looking to bounce back from a mid-week defeat as they aim to continue their unbeaten league start.
They beat City in the Community Shield thanks to some last-minute good fortune but they have not been at their best at home.
Draws with Fulham and Tottenham and a narrow win over Manchester United means there is plenty of room for improvement, but City's visit provides them with the ideal opportunity to show off their title credentials.
The good news for Gooners is Bukayo Saka is in "contention" to play, while Thomas Partey may also return to the matchday squad.
But Gabriel Martinelli is set to miss out once again.
For Pep Guardiola, he will be without defensive midfield stalwart Rodri as he serves the final game of his three-match ban.
Bernardo Silva returned to the City squad in midweek after missing the last three games with a knock.
However the match will come too soon for John Stones, who has not featured since the Community Shield. Guardiola said: "Stones is not ready to play, maybe for national team but not for us."
Summer signing Mateo Kovacic is also back in contention after suffering from a lower back problem.
One to watch
Alvarez has started the season on fire and potentially poses a bigger danger for the Gunners than Erling Haaland.
He has slotted into the Kevin De Bruyne role so well the champions have not even felt the Belgian's absence.
Alvarez has scored six goals in all competitions and has recently added a new string to his bow – free-kicks, as evidenced against Wolves last weekend.
Keeping him quiet will be a tall order and Declan Rice will likely be tasked with that responsibility.
Arsenal splashed out £105million on the England star to take them to the next level, and it is games against the top six where Rice must make the difference if the Gunners are to go one better than last season.
He has quietly gone about his business very effectively since his arrival and will be key to winning the midfield battle, particularly with Rodri unavailable for the visitors.
What have the manager's said?
Arteta admitted his side will have to be at their best to beat City, and was asked about how he will deal with the threat they pose from long balls.
He responded: "They’ve done that against Brighton or against Liverpool.
"It’s adapting to the behaviour of the team. You know what you’re going to provoke. They have different qualities with Ederson and another goalkeeper."
He also praised Trossard saying: "Really important. I think Leo has been really good. He had a big impact. He was absent against Brentford when he could not compete but apart from that he’s been really good."
City are just one point ahead of Arsenal and Guardiola is under no illusion that the North Londoners will challenge for the title. The Spaniard also discussed Rodri's absence and the threat Arsenal will pose.
He said: "Absolutely. Among Liverpool, from what we have seen but to analyse the contenders in first 10 games, and we haven't even played that, we have to wait but the big clubs will be contenders."
On Rodri he added: "We will see what happens. I started to talk today with my staff, we have to analyse, train this afternoon and prepare tomorrow. Rodri is one of the two three best holding midfielders in the world so his influence on the team is going to be big. But he's not there. We've coped with absenses in the past and we'll have to adapt.
"When we have an absence as important as Rodri we need to look deep inside us to solve it. We can not to start crying and complaining we have to find a solution and XI players will be trying to win in London."
On Arsenal's threat: "They are a good team, second they make man marking sometimes, allow you to do some process but after they are so aggressive. They have a clear pattern and really good team. They fought to be champions and now they're here again. Arsenal are back.
"Are Arsenal stronger after last season's title fight? I don't know because I'm not in the locker room and I don't talk to them. I know Oleks [Zinchencko] and I know Jesus but the rest I don't know but they are still there.
"The recruitment they have done is top, exceptional level of players. The keeper, Havertz, Rice. They are a good team."
Both teams have made impressive starts to the campaign and although Arsenal have not looked as easy on the eye, they do look a more solid outfit with Declan Rice protecting the defence.
City could struggle to exert their usual control due to the absence of Rodri, so there could be little to separate the two sides. 1-1.
When is Arsenal vs Man City?
- Arsenal vs Man City will take place TODAY – Sunday, October 8.
- Kick off will be at 4.30pm BST.
- The Emirates will play host.
What TV channel will Arsenal vs Man City be on and can it be live streamed?
- Arsenal vs Man City will be broadcast LIVE on Sky Sports Main Event.
- Sky Sports customers can live stream all the action via the NOW app/website.
- Alternatively, you can keep up to date with all the action from the Emirates by following SunSport's live blog.
What are the odds?
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- Arsenal – 15/8
- Draw – 23/10
- Man City – 7/5
*Odds courtesy of Paddy Power and are correct at the time of publication.
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