Bukayo Saka


Arsenal can take a huge step towards a long-awaited Premier League title on Sunday as they host Manchester City, with a chance to move four points ahead of the reigning champions.

Mikel Arteta’s side are top of the table before this weekend’s Premier League action, but could easily be third by the end. Liverpool will face Brighton earlier in the day, and taking three points at the Etihad can never be counted on.

The international break provided a handful of injury scares for Arteta and the fans, but they seem to have been nothing more than scares with Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Magalhaes both expected to start against Pep Guardiola’s side.

Here is the Arsenal team that Arteta may choose against Man City.

Bukayo Saka

Saka pulled out of England duty / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/GettyImages

GK: David Raya – The goalkeeper really endeared himself to the Arsenal faithful during the Champions League penalty shoot-out win over FC Porto, so now he has to build on that with a big performance in an even bigger game.

RB: Ben White – Ben White has been the focus of attention during the international break after he took himself out of contention for England duty. It is a brave thing to do, and he has to back it up with a big performance against Jeremy Doku and co on Sunday.

CB: William Saliba – Arsenal fans love to claim that William Saliba is a better defender than Ruben Dias. This is the opportunity for him to prove them right as he will be taking on Erling Haaland, as well as dealing with players like Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne.

CB: Gabriel Magalhaes – Having withdrawn from Brazil duty earlier in the international break, there were fears that Arsenal’s excellent centre-back pairing would be split up. Despite that, he is expected to start which will be a huge relief.

LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko – The Ukrainian is buoyed by helping his nation get to Euro 2024 under extremely tough circumstances, and now he will be keen to get one over on his old side and take a big step towards a Premier League winners’ medal with a different team.

CM: Martin Odegaard – One of the reasons that Martin Odegaard looks so good at the moment is that he has all the characteristics of a modern-day Man City player. His creativity and tight control will be central to any success Arsenal have at the Etihad.

CM: Jorginho – Given Kai Havertz will be used in a more advanced role, Arteta could seek the composure of Jorginho in the midfield to go with the combative energy of Declan Rice, Jorginho is having a superb second half of the season in an Arsenal shirt.

CM: Declan Rice – These are the games that will be the making of Rice and so far this season, he has been showing up when it matters most. He kept himself sharp while on international duty and will try to keep De Bruyne as quiet as possible.

RW: Bukayo Saka – He pulled out of the England squad thanks to a small injury but he is expected to start. Arteta explained that while he has not trained but he has a chance of playing.

ST: Kai Havertz – Much has been made of the impending battle between Havertz and Ruben Dias. He scored for Germany during the internationals and looks to be growing in importance for both club and country.

LW: Gabriel Martinelli – Like Saka, Martinelli as not trained yet but has a good chance of recovering form his foot injury in time to start against Man City. He could be up against Rico Lewis with Kyle Walker out injured for City.



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