Morning all.

Another day in the world of Arsenal and another game. A game we could do with winning but even a point would be a really good result. Is this the game which decides the title?

Mikel Arteta:

That game is going to be really important. But is it going to define the season? No. If we win tomorrow night (tonight), we haven’t won the league.

When asked if there’s still belief that we can beat Manchester City to the title, he replied:

One hundred per cent. We knew from the beginning that City was the team to beat, probably alongside Liverpool, because of what those teams have done in the last six or seven years. They’ve fully deserved that credit and to be at the top. We were the ones that wanted to be closing that gap as much as we possibly could, and we are toe-to-toe with them. We knew we had to go to the Etihad, we know that after that they are going to have another five very difficult games.

Actually, Man City have another fixtures to play after this one, it’s Arsenal who have just the five but they’ll be tough. Very tough.

William Saliba is still not fit enough to return and Granit Xhaka is a doubt. If the latter misses out, I’d be very surprised to see Fabio Vieira start ahead of Leandro Trossard this time. Guardiola has a fully fit squad to select from although Ake is a slight doubt.

The only thing I’m sure about ahead of this game is that if Arsenal players make mistakes again, City will punish us good and hard. We have to be stronger and more focused in midfield because in turn, that will help the defence. Is this a game where the free roles go out the window? I think so because if Zinchenko starts roaming around in midfield, City will exploit the gaps he leaves. Personally, I’d like to see Tierney start this one with either Zinchenko or Jorginho alongside Partey. I think it’s safe to assume Odegaard, Saka, Jesus and Martinelli will start so there’s the eleven. If Xhaka is fit, I’ll forget what I’ve just written because I’m sure he’ll start.

We could spend all day discussing who ‘should or shouldn’t’ play tonight but I doubt any one of us would include Fabio Vieira. Not because he’s rubbish etc but because City will bully him off the ball with ease. Grealish will be on the ground more often than Jesus I’m sure and Haaland will be the monster of a striker he is. No offence meant there by the way but he’s just big, strong, athletic and hard to stop. A defender’s nightmare.

We have a pretty good attacking unit of our own though. No big striker of course but when Saka, Martinelli, Jesus, Odegaard, Trossard and even Xhaka are on form, they can be ruthless too and we’ll need a bit of that tonight. A lot if we’re going to win.

Earlier in the season, City beat us 3-1 at The Emirates but the match was closer than the score suggests. There was no Partey and no Jesus that day and Tomiyasu started at right-back instead of Ben White. Even so, we bossed the possession stats, had more shots but hitting the target was the problem. As were the Arsenal errors, the first, an awful back pass by Tomiyasu which allowed de Bruyne to open the scoring. Having equalised from the spot, City scored again after Gabriel lost possession a bit too easily. Nketiah had a few really good chances that day but his heading skills were right off. Fine margins…

Can this Arsenal team beat City? Of course they can but to do so there’s no room for error. Not tonight and not for the rest of the season.

Catch up in the comments..