Just three weeks on from a hard-fought 2-2 draw at the Emirates, Arsenal and Manchester City are set to do battle once again.
This time at Wembley, with a place in the FA Cup final up for grabs, both will be equally bullish about their chances of moving one step closer towards securing silverware this term.
After a topsy-turvy start to life in England, Pep Guardiola’s side have only lost on three occasions since the turn of the year. Arsenal have disappointed considerably since the start of 2017, being defeated by less-fancied sides in remarkable fashion along the way. Naturally, confidence isn’t high despite a narrow away win over Middlesbrough on Monday evening.
Arsène Wenger spoke about a range of different topics during his pre-match presser, including the significance of this fixture in regards to Arsenal’s season.
When questioned about the players’ mindset and how a poor run of results could be rectified , Wenger remained characteristically firm with his statements.
“Every competition brings a psychological atmosphere,” Wenger said. “We have seen teams not doing well in the Premier League and then suddenly they are doing very well in a different competition.
“They don’t carry the negative vibes of bad experiences in this competition.”
Many were surprised to see Wenger change his tactical system against Middlesbrough, using three central defenders and two opposing wing-backs. One of the main reasons behind this decision was Shkodran Mustafi’s thigh injury – one which will keep him out of contention against the Citizens on Sunday.
Wenger admitted the same 3-5-2 formation is “an option”, but refused to confirm whether he’d start with it.
“It [the new system] was more destined to give us a bit more defensive solidity because recently away from home we conceded too many goals,” Wenger added.
David Ospina (back) and Danny Welbeck (toe) are not expected to feature, though the latter will have a late fitness test to assess whether he’s fit enough for a place on the substitutes’ bench.