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Arsenal v City: Rodrigo and Cancelo start

Arsenal v City: Rodrigo and Cancelo start
Rodrigo and Joao Cancelo both start for Manchester City against Arsenal as Pep Guardiola makes three changes for the trip to North London.

Cancelo, who was assaulted during a burglary at his home on Thursday, retains his place in the side, whilst the Spanish midfielder has returned to full fitness after missing City’s wins over Brentford and Leicester City.

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He comes into the starting XI alongside Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez, replacing Fernandinho, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden, who is short of full fitness and not involved at the Emirates Stadium.

Kyle Walker is back in the matchday squad after a four-match absence and joins Fernandinho and Grealish on the subsitutes bench, but John Stones and Oleksandr Zinchenko are not fully fit and miss out along with Foden

TEAMS

CITY: Ederson, Cancelo, Dias (C), Laporte, Ake, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Mahrez, Sterling, Jesus.

SUBS: Steffen, Walker, Gundogan, Grealish, Fernandinho, Kayky, Mbete, Palmer, McAtee.

ARSENAL: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Lacazette.

SUBS: Leno, Smith Rowe, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Soares, Pepe, Tavares, Lokonga, Elneny.

WATCH: Arsenal v City: Top five goals

Formation

With Guardiola making like for like changes, it looks as if City will continue with the 4-3-3 formation which delivered three points against Brentford.

The back four remains the same, with Cancelo and Nathan Ake at right and left-back respectively, either side of Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte.

Rodrigo will sit deepest in a three-man midfield with Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva, whilst Sterling, Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus will form the attacking trident.

Which of that trio will play through the middle remains to be seen, though previous games would suggest it will be the Brazilian or Sterling who leads the line.

As it stands

English Premier League
1 Manchester City Man City 21 17 2 2 53 13 40 53 WWWWW
2 Chelsea Chelsea 21 12 7 2 45 16 29 43 DDWDD
3 Liverpool Liverpool 20 12 6 2 52 18 34 42 WWDLD

Match stats and facts

  • City are on a run of six straight away victories at the Emirates Stadium, including four in the Premier League.
  • We begin 2022 eight points clear - all five of the previous sides who began the new year with a lead of eight points or more went on to win the Premier League.
  • Pep Guardiola has led us to 10 successive Premier League wins for the fourth time - no other manager has done so more than twice.
  • Guardiola's side are on a run of six away league wins in a row, and have only dropped points in three of our last 23 such matches (D1, L2).
  • We have won seven of our past eight Premier League games on New Year's Day, with the exception a 1-0 loss at Sunderland in 2012.
  • Arsenal have lost the past nine league meetings - their longest ever losing streak against a particular club.
  • The Gunners have failed to score in their previous five top-flight games with City, one short of their longest such streak against any opponent.
  • Raheem Sterling has scored in each of his last three away league fixtures versus Arsenal. The only player to score in four consecutive Premier League away appearances against Arsenal is Nicolas Anelka, who did so between 2002 and 2009.
  • Sterling is vying to score in five successive Premier League appearances for the first time in his career.
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