A very,very quick Man City preview blog today because:
1 – I am hungover like a fox.
2 – Nobody’s going to be up in time to read it.
Today’s game takes place without Mikel Arteta because of his Covid status, but thankfully it appears there haven’t been any new cases among the players. Whether that means the chaps who missed the last game are available today remains to be seen, but at least there aren’t any other absentees.
In terms of the team we pick, the only real issue is whether or not you find a place for Emile Smith Rowe and who might make way to do that? Gabriel Martinelli has been playing very well on the left, so the only other option is bringing him in for Alexandre Lacazette, and perhaps playing the Brazilian up front.
Beyond that, it more or less picks itself. Whatever line-up we go with though, let’s make Man City work for whatever they get from today. Make no mistake, this is going to be very tough because they are top of the league for a very good reason, and their depth and quality is going to really test us. However, we got hammered last time out against them, we got hammered when we played Liverpool, and there could be some progress gleaned from being competitive today.
I don’t want to say you can learn from losing, it’s too self-defeating and at some point we need to demonstrate we’re not just a side that will roll over for the big boys, but our form has been good, confidence is high, why shouldn’t Arsenal look to take something from a home game, regardless of the opposition?
Arteta says of his work-from-home remit today:
It’s going to be very strange and I will need a big room so that I can walk and move a little bit because I won’t be able to sit on my sofa. It’s a big, big game for us and it’s a really frustrating thing not to be able to be there helping the team, but I will do my best from here with everything that I can do and we have prepared for every scenario possible. We know what we have to do and then it will be down to the players to execute that as much as possible tomorrow.
Albert Stuivenberg will be the man in charge on the bench today, so let’s hope he can deal with whatever City throw at us, and that the gameplan Arteta and his coaches have come up with this week – despite the complications – is good enough.
Right. I’m gonna leave it there, drink some coffee, sweat some bourbon out of my system and have a bacon sandwich.
Happy new year to you if you’ve made it this far, fingers crossed the team can give us a good start to 2022.
Catch you in a bit for the game.