Arsenal vs Man City (1-2) January 1, 2022 Match preview and statistics

The first Premier League match in 2022 will see Arsenal host Manchester City at the Emirates, where former colleagues Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta come into play.

Arteta worked as an assistant to Guardiola in Man Cty before being appointed Arsenal manager.

The clash on New Year’s Day is a clash that features two of the most formal teams in the Premier League at the moment, as Arsenal have won four by leaps and bounds, while Man City look unstoppable in their pursuit of the title after winning. 10 in a row.

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Arsenal’s squad looks thinner than usual due to some Covid isolations as they will be without Takehiro Tomiyasu, Calum Chambers, Cedric Soares and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

That would mean another starting spot for Rob Holding, with Ben White being asked to play right-back again.

Further up the field, Emile Smith Rowe could be brought into the starting XI to replace Gabriel Martinelli.

Aaron Ramsdale will start in goal behind a likely back four of White, Holding, Gabriel and Kieran Tierney.

Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey will once again be the holding midfielders.

Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka are in sparkling form, so they will keep their places, with Smith Rowe making up the last of the three in midfield.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang still in exile from the squad, Alexandre Lacazette will start at the top.

For Manchester City, Guardiola will be hoping to welcome Kyle Walker, Rodri and John Stones back as this trio missed the win against Brentford due to fitness issues.

Due to the short turnaround between matches, it is likely that they can be thrown straight back into the start-11 for this one.

Ederson will start in goal, with Walker coming in as right back in a fireback along with Ruben Dias, Stones and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Joao Cancelo was the victim of a burglary this week, where he was assaulted by the assailants, and a decision will be made closer to the game whether he can join.

Rodri could return to midfield with Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva, although Ilkay Gundogan is also pushing for a start.

Expect some rotation in the final third, with Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling coming in to replace Jack Grealish and Gabriel Jesus.

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