Arsenal v Manchester City - 7.45pm Thurs 1 Mar - Premier League Preview and Match Day Thread | Vital Forums

Arsenal v Manchester City - 7.45pm Thurs 1 Mar - Premier League Preview and Match Day Thread

Skoorb

Alert Team
#1
After their victory in the League Cup Final City return to the capital again on Thursday to take on the same opponents - Whinging Arsene Wenger's Arsenal.

The litany of excuses that flowed from both the Arsenal manager and his surrogate Moaner in Chief Jack 'turf muncher' Wilshire following their capitulation at the weekend were laughable. From the complaints about Aguero nudging the weak and insipid Mustafi before his sublime finish for the first goal, through to the call for Sané to be ruled offside for Kompany's ecstatic second through to Wenger actually asking why more time wasn't added on at the end of the game (yes, WTF?) they were trying to blame everyone but themselves.

Well, it clearly didn't work if the response from the fans and ex-players is anything to go by and this was supported by the media who roundly agreed that Arsenal were poor and need to look at themselves before blaming others. But they can leave that until after Thursday when hope they put in a similar performance. There are some thoughts that they might be better rested as this tweet puts it:-

From @Pete2Boogie on Twitter:

"Bookies tipping Arsenal to beat Man City on Thur. Largely because the gunners have had an extra few days rest whilst City played in a cup final on Sunday"

Enough of our opponents.

Boy was that win needed last weekend. After unceremoniously being dumped out of the FA Cup the previous Monday much was at stake in the Final and more than just the winning of the trophy. Two defeats in the space of a week and the shrinking of the potential competition success this season from four to two would have only served to reinforce the media spotlight and ramp up the pressure on Guardiola and the players. An increase in self-doubt and an emboldening of opponents is not the order of the day as we move into the final stage of an extraordinary season.

I am pretty sure that I was not the only one whose reaction actually matched that of Vincent Kompany when he stabbed home his goal in the 58th minute last Sunday. Talk about a cathartic moment. As City stepped up their game in the second half the confidence could be seen flowing through the players and it never faltered to the final whistle.

Job done - what's next?

Next is the same side at the Emirates. Doubtless there will be much talk from the Gooner fans of an 'opportunity for revenge' which is understandable but one can only hope that their players try and achieve this fairly. Given the way in which the sour faced Wilshire was reacting as the game progressed one could be forgiven in expecting him to launch into some tackles modelling himself on Cardiff's Joe Bennett. In between trying to get opponent's sent off. He really is someone who is a legend in his own mind and who has never lived up to the hype. He showed himself to be a petulant child last Sunday and we can hope that he is once again taught a footballing lesson.

Having won his first trophy in English football ( :033: to the haters) I am sure Pep will not allow there to be any relaxation from the City players. There remains work to do and the Catalan coach will not rest easy until it is complete & I am sure he will not let his players take their foot off the gas. Having dealt with the Sanchez Dilemma, seem the effects of the Pogba Initiative he is now faced with solving the Fernandinho Conundrum.

For all the plaudits that have rightly been received by Kevin De Bruyne this season, the importance of Fernandihno to the way the City side have played this season cannot be understated. His energy, speed of movement of the ball, aggression when needed, his passing......he has been the fulcrum around which the City machine has purred and it will be a tough call replacing him. There is no update yet on the severity of his hamstring strain but he is certain to miss the Arsenal match and so someone will have to fill in. My money is on Gundogan although some have mooted using Vinnie in his old midfield position. Certainly Toure is unlikely to be an option given his absence from the bench recently.

Big shoes to fill but everyone will be buoyed up by the cup win and I am sure that the whole team will have an extra yard in their stride to compensate.

In other teams news Sterling may be available after missing the last few matches with a hamstring problem of his own.

Arsenal will be missing Monreal who made a quick exit at the weekend after he injured himself with his pathetic dive in an attempt to fool Craig Pawson into awarding a penalty. Perhaps he saw what was coming and decided that the bench was the best place to be. Why he hasn't been cited by the diving panel I have no idea.

Officials :-

Referee: Andre Marriner
Assistants: Scott Ledger, Ian Hussin
Fourth official: Mike Dean

Predicted City staring XI & subs:-

Erderson

Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Danilo

De Bruyne, Gundogan, Silva D

Silva B, Aguero, Sané

Subs:
Bravo, Zinchenko, Kompany, Stones, Foden, Sterling, Diaz

After the week he had had - losing under controversial circumstances to lower league opponents, involved in a tunnel fracas, being charged by the FA (why then?) - Pep will have absolutely loved winning that final at Wembley. He knew, he absolutely knew the how important that game was for the rest of the club's season. He will insist his side kick on and build on this success - there will be no resting on laurels.

He has got the first trophy under his belt and now he will want more. Thursday is an opportunity to bring that dream one step closer.

Come on City!!!
 

Colin Is The King

Vital Football Legend
#3
It seems Fernie's injury is not as bad as first feared, although that's also been the case elsewhere, although then in fact not proven (Kompany, Delph).

https://www.mancity.com/news/first-team/first-team-news/2018/february/man-city-injury-update-fernandinho-latest
 

Rising

Alert Team
#6
Bluedub - 28/2/2018 10:59

Will this go ahead? Is that London snowed in?
I'm down in leafy Surrey, BD, and we've got about 2/3" of snow. London is always a bit warmer, so I don't think there'll be any problem.

 
#7
Rising - 28/2/2018 11:03

Bluedub - 28/2/2018 10:59

Will this go ahead? Is that London snowed in?
I'm down in leafy Surrey, BD, and we've got about 2/3" of snow. London is always a bit warmer, so I don't think there'll be any problem.
Forecasters here are saying the worst of it will hit us tonight, is it the same for UK?

I don't fancy playing them tomorrow, after the Lord Mayor's show and all that, we both have a free weekend coming up with no FA Cup, come on the 'beast from the east', do your thing.
 

Rising

Alert Team
#8
Tomorrow is forecast cloudy and windy in my part of the world but the snow comes back on Friday.

I know what you mean though, I wouldn't mind this game being shelved for the time being too.


 

Rising

Alert Team
#9
Spuds v Rochdale goes ahead tonight although they warn the punters to get to Wembley early because of public transport probs. No wonder they call it the soft south. A coupla inches of snow and they find it hard to cope.


 

kennyclementstache

Vital Football Legend
#10
If Danilo continues at LB then maybe Delph as an alternative as F25's replacement - although probably the temptation would be to keep Gundogen in the team. Sterling on the berti?

 
#11
kennyclementstache - 28/2/2018 12:43

If Danilo continues at LB then maybe Delph as an alternative as F25's replacement - although probably the temptation would be to keep Gundogen in the team. Sterling on the berti?
Delphino still suspended.
 
#12
Delphino :010:

Safe travels to anyone attending the game tomorrow.

If Jesus makes it onto the pitch at any stage & Wilshire is still 'playing' then I fear the over rated Arsenal test will try and leave one on him :019:
 

kennyclementstache

Vital Football Legend
#13
Bluedub - 28/2/2018 12:49

kennyclementstache - 28/2/2018 12:43

If Danilo continues at LB then maybe Delph as an alternative as F25's replacement - although probably the temptation would be to keep Gundogen in the team. Sterling on the berti?
Delphino still suspended.
Of course, it was a straight red for dangerous play - I was thinking it was just the one game he would miss. Gundogen it is.

 
#14
Team news update:-

Henrikh Mkhitaryan was,of course, cup-tied for Sunday's League Cup final defeat but will return for the league game

Guardiola indicates that Sterling has made progress but won’t feature tomorrow:-

“Raheem is much, much better, I don’t know if he can play tomorrow but hopefully Chelsea or Basel [he will be ready].“
 
#15
I regret the loss of Ferna for the replay, I hope Gundogan can knit the backs with the midfield as seemlessly as ferna has done, under the radar as far as the media are concerned, but that gives another outing for Bernardo, who when he gets fully match fitness under his shorts, we should be OK.

Different ball from Sunday, hence the reason KDB and others were off the mark.
 
#16
Loved that quote from Twitter;

Good line-up Skoorb, lets see if he does go with Ota and Eric rather than Stonsey and Ota and not sure that Gabriel Jesus will not take a part in proceedings, Wilshere will want a piece of our guy.
 
#17
I think he would love to stick with Vinnie given the boost to his confidence that goal will have given him but we are still faced with the same issue - two games in four days my be too much. He my yet drop in Stonesy rather than Eric........it is anybody’s guess back there!
 
#18
Eric still in bonding mode while Vinnie and Styonsey have a sort of understanding, Stonsey problem is just a matter of confidence, but if the ground is heavy going I would go with Stones and Ota.
 

Rising

Alert Team
#19
I'm beginning to wonder if the game may not go ahead. It's blowing a blizzard outside my window although the forecast is for it to stop around midday. It's the same forecast for north London.
:048:

 

Skoorb

Alert Team
#20
The weather forecast for London indicates some snow this morning

https://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/0/2643743

However as we know, it is not the conditions on the pitch that are the determining factor, it is the areas around the stadium on the approaches and concourses which often cause matches to be called off.

The question is going to be - how bad will it get in Norf Laarnden Tahn and at what time will this decision get made.