Manchester City host Arsenal on Wednesday night, as the Premier League makes it’s long-awaited return.
Pep Guardiola’s hosts have little chance of catching Liverpool in the title race, while the Gunners require a surge in form from their final 10 games if they’re to secure a Champions League spot.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t get excited about this clash. Both sides possess some world class players, and ahead of Wednesday’s game we’ve put together a combined XI from this season’s performances so far…
GK – Ederson
This is a touch harsh on Arsenal’s Bernd Leno perhaps, as the German has quickly become one of the Gunners’ most reliable assets.
But alongside Liverpool’s Alisson, City’s Ederson completes the Premier League’s finest two goalkeepers of the moment. The Brazilian is a fine shot-stopper, is comfortable on the ball and can quickly turn defence into attack.
RB – Kyle Walker
A fully-fit Hector Bellerin could rival Walker for the right-back spot, but the Spaniard has spent much of the campaign returning to fitness from last season’s cruciate injury.
Walker’s pace and power on the right-hand side always offer City an extra option going forward, while he remains a competent presence at the back.
CB – Nicolas Otamendi
He needs a solid presence alongside him, but Otamendi’s plenty good enough to get in our XI, as Arsenal’s centre-halves struggle to establish themselves at the Emirates.
CB – Fernandinho
Though he may be a holding midfielder by trade, many would say Fernandinho has become Man City’s finest defender, as he fills in for the injured Aymeric Laporte.
The side have struggled to replicate Vincent Kompany’s calm, commanding approach at the back, and the experienced Fernandinho has done much to help fill the void.
LB – Bukayo Saka
We’re giving Arsenal hotshot Bukaya Saka the nod. In part, no City left-back has excelled this term, while the 18-year-old Gunners winger has shone for the North London side, producing a series of impressive performances on the flank despite playing out of position.
MF – Kevin De Bruyne
One player symbolises the gulf between these two sides right now more than any other, and that player is Kevin De Bruyne.
The Man City playmaker has enjoyed another marvellous personal campaign, racking up a superb 16 assists in the Premier League, in addition to eight goals. If anyone makes our XI tick, it’s the Belgian.
MF – Ilkay Gundogan
With David Silva nearing the end of a splendid career with City, it’s been up to Gundogan and Bernardo Silva to fill the void.
The German has fully settled in to life in the Premier League now, and is a powerful force in City’s midfield at both ends of the pitch.
MF – Bernardo Silva
The other Silva in City’s squad has become a real fan favourite over the last 18 months. Bernardo Silva’s combative, hard-working presence has given the Blues an added dimension in midfield.
FW – Raheem Sterling
City’s Raheem Sterling is arguably the most dangerous player in either side’s armoury. The forward has reached new heights under Pep Guardiola, and has already fired in 11 league goals this term.
FW – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
If there’s one Arsenal player who comfortably makes this XI, it’s Aubameyang. The Gabon striker is clinical in and around the area, firing in 17 league goals this season to maintain the Gunners’ hopes of grabbing European football.
FW – Sergio Aguero
Completing a quite mighty front three is City and all-round Premier League legend Sergio Aguero.
The Argentine remains a class act, despite the arrival and competition brought by Gabriel Jesus. Aguero has netted 16 goals from just 22 appearances this season, and like Aubameyang, remains in the hunt for the Golden Boot.
Man City v Arsenal odds
Guardiola’s men go into this one as 1/3 favourites.
Our traders think Mikel Arteta’s visitors have it all to do, with Arsenal priced up as 8/1 outsiders, with a draw at 9/2.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.