Arsenal come up against Manchester City for the second time in four days following Sunday’s disappointing Carabao Cup final defeat to Pep Guardiola’s men.
The Gunners were dismantled by a City side who took their chances and pounced on individual defensive mistakes to secure the first silverware of the season, prompting mass speculation that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger could be set to leave the club at the end of the campaign.
Wenger’s side have recorded just two victories in their last 16 Premier League matches against fellow a�?big sixa�� teams (D6 L8) and currently sit in sixth position in the league.
With their top four hopes already looking slim it is vital that Arsenal bounce back with a win against City and they’ll take comfort from their impressive home form which has been their saviour so far this season.
Nacho Monreal is out with a back injury and could be unavailable for the next fortnight, according to Wenger.
“He is out for the two games this weekend – Thursday and Sunday certainly. He might be out for two more games – Milan and maybe one more [Watford],” Wenger said at his pre-match press conference.
“He has an inflamed back.”
Alexandre Lacazette is sidelined with a knee injury, although his return has been shortened to “four weeks from now, maybe three and a half weeks” according to Wenger.
Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla remains a long-term absentee with an Achilles injury.
Arsenal have no playersA�suspended for this game.
Arsenal potential starting line-up
Henrikh Mkhitaryan returns to the team after being cup tied for the Carabao Cup final.
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil are expected to continue in the team while Alex Iwobi could start ahead of Jack Wilshere in the three-man attack.
Following the dismal defensive showing on Sunday there could be a formation change to four at the back, although Nacho Monreal is out after suffering a back injury at Wembley.
Monreal’s injury means that either Ainsley Maitland Niles or Sead Kolasinac will fill in for the Spaniard at left-back.
Petr Cech will be back in goal with Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny expected to continue in defence.
Man City team news
Fernadinho will miss Thursday’s game after suffering a hamstring strain during the Carabao Cup final win.
The Brazilian midfielder was replaced by Bernando Silva in the second half at Wembley and while initial prognosis isna��t as bad as first feared, he wona��t be fit enough to play in the match at Emirates Stadium.
City are 25 points ahead of Arsenal in first place and remain favourites to win the Premier League title following a scintillating season under manager Pep Guardiola.
Sergio Aguero is the club’s top scorer with 30A�goals to his name so farA�this season.
Best Opta match facts
- Arsenal have won just two of their last 11 Premier League meetings with Manchester City, drawing five and losing four. Indeed, both teams have found the back of the net in eight of their last nine clashes in the Premier League.
- Manchester City have won only one of their 20 Premier League away games against Arsenal (D7 L12) a�� winning 2-0 under Roberto Mancini in January 2013.
- Manchester City could become the first side to beat Arsenal three times in the same season since Chelsea in 2005-06 a�� those three defeats also all occurred at different grounds.
- Manchester Citya��s points total of 72 from 27 games is the most ever set by an English top-flight side at this stage of the season (3 pts for a win). If they win this game, ita��ll match Arsenala��s Premier League tally from last season (75 points from 38 games).
- The Gunners have won five of their last six Premier League games played on Thursday (L1), including a 3-2 away win against Crystal Palace in December.
- The Gunners have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine Premier League matches a�� they last went 10 without a shutout in the top-flight back in February 2002 (11 games).
- Mesut Ozil has provided 49 assists in 138 Premier League appearances, if he assists in this game hea��ll set a competition record for the fewest games taken to reach 50 assists (currently held by Eric Cantona, 143 apps).
TV channel & kick-off time
The match kicks off at 19:45 GMT on Thursday, with live television coverage available on Sky SportsA�in the UK.