Arsenal vs Man City combined XI ahead of huge Premier League clash

Erling Haaland of Manchester City and William Saliba of Arsenal challenge during The FA Community Shield match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on August 6, 2023

Arsenal host Manchester City this Sunday in the Premier League in what will be one of their most important games this season. 

The Gunners have lost 12 straight league meetings with Pep Guardiola’s men, but they did win the Community Shield on penalties at the start of the campaign. Could that give them the psychological edge to finally get one over their rivals in the top flight?

It could do. But how many members of the Arsenal squad would make it into the Man City team? Let’s find out.

Arsenal v Man City combined XI:

GK: Ederson – Man City

The Brazilian’s shot-stopping came in for scrutiny last season, but Ederson has been a solid pair of hands between the sticks for City so far this term and his distribution is peerless. Aaron Ramsdale and David Raya have traded the gloves, but both have had ropey moments in goal.

RB: Kyle Walker – Man City

Kyle Walker came close to leaving City to joining Bayern Munich in the summer, but the England defender has looked about as good as he ever has this year. Ben White performs well at right-back, although it is not his natural position, while Takehiro Tomiyasu cannot hold a candle to Walker.

CB: William Saliba – Arsenal

After finally getting the chance to prove his chops in the Premier League last season, William Saliba has continued to show what a superb defender he is. The Frenchman also plays an important role in Arsenal’s attack, with no defender in the Premier League boasting a better pass completion in the final third (92%).

Why Arsenal have to prove themselves vs Man City

CB: John Stones – Man City

Man City have a ridiculous level of depth at centre-back, but John Stones oozes class and he has managed to prove a hell of a lot of people wrong in recent years. Pep Guardiola has come to rely a lot on the Englishman in build-up play, even moving him into midfield while in possession.

LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko – Arsenal

Oddly, there is unlikely to be a ‘true’ left-back on the pitch this Sunday. City loaned Joao Cancelo to Barcelona and Arsenal sent Kieran Tierney on loan to Real Sociedad, while Guardiola has taken to lining up with four centre-backs in his defensive line.

Although Oleksandr Zinchenko was originally an attacking midfielder, the Ukrainian became one of the best utility players around while at City and was converted into a left-back, the role he predominantly performs at Arsenal now. The Gunners’ stuttering performances in his absence earlier this season show how important he is to the team.

CM: Rodri – Man City

Arguably Man City’s most important player last season, Rodri is the glue that holds the whole operation together. This year the Spaniard has been able to roam forward more often and has already bagged three goals in all competitions. Unfortunately for them, he’s suspended for this tie.

Pep Guardiola praises ‘perfect’ Man City

CM: Martin Odegaard – Arsenal

We could very easily have had a trio of City midfielders, but Martin Odegaard elevated his game last season to the point where he is now considered among the very best number 8s in the Premier League. The Arsenal captain plays a ginormous role in Mikel Arteta’s team, and only James Maddison (26) has more goal involvements among Premier League midfielders than him (25) since the beginning of last season.

CM: Phil Foden – Man City

Phil Foden did not make it into our combined XI ahead of the Community Shield, but he has played his way into this team after a strong start to the campaign. The 23-year-old has been fantastic in midfield, registering two goals and four assists in all competitions. With Kevin De Bruyne out injured, we’re giving his place to the Stockport Messi.

RW: Bukayo Saka – Arsenal

If Bukayo Saka misses Sunday’s game through injury, then it’s curtains for Arsenal before a ball is even kicked. The 21-year-old is that good and that important to the Gunners, Arteta cannot afford to be without him in this match. Which makes you wonder why the manager has been running him into the ground ahead of this one.

Arsenal injury update on Bukayo Saka and Thomas Partey

LW: Julian Alvarez – Man City

Julian Alvarez won a World Cup and a Champions League in the same campaign last year, and yet it didn’t feel like we had even seen the very best of him. The Argentine has gone up a level this season though; he is virtually running City’s attack, expertly linking play with Erling Haaland as a playmaker/second striker.

CF: Erling Haaland – Man City

Just seven games into the new Premier League season, Erling Haaland already has eight goals (and an assist). The Norwegian has 60 in all competitions since the beginning of last season. That is obscene.

Read – The top scorers in Europe’s big leagues so far

See Also – Ranking all 20 of the Premier League’s third kits

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The post Arsenal vs Man City combined XI ahead of huge Premier League clash first appeared on The Football Faithful.

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