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3 things Arsenal must do to stand a chance against Manchester City

  • Can the Gunners outperform Manchester City at the Emirates and hand the holders their second defeat in two weeks?
Harsh Pillai
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 14 Dec 2019, 20:22 IST

The big game is here
The big game is here

With a much-needed victory against West Ham United at the London Stadium, Arsenal is back on course in the top four race, as they sit 7 points behind 4th-placed Chelsea. Unluckily, just as they have found their rhythm back, the Gunners have reached their first big test of December; hosting champions Manchester City at the Emirates.

The likes of Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli could not have found their feet in the English league at a better time, as both scored a goal each to seal a 3-1 win over the Hammers on Monday.Hwever, they will have to be at their absolute best to even stand a chance of beating Pep Guardiola's side, who are looking to get their season on track after four defeats already this term.

With Freddie Ljungberg likely to be in charge of the game against City, he and his coaching staff will be at their level best to beat the holders. Here are three ways in which Ljungberg can probablyupstage Guardiola.

#3 Exploit the spaces behind Manchester City's high defensive line

Pepe, Aubameyang and Martinelli will have to use their speed very efficiently
Pepe, Aubameyang and Martinelli will have to use their speed very efficiently

Breaking past Manchester City's midfield has been pretty difficult for the English teams. As many as 7 players from City's side are in and around the opposition box when they have the ball, and yet, plenty of teams have found it difficult to break through them.

However, last week, Manchester United showcased how it has to be done. Man City had 72% possession, 23 attempts at goal and completed thrice the number of passes Man United did. But it was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men who bagged the three points, as they defended well, took their chances and were always a threat on the break.

Arsenal will have to do something similar and follow the counter-attacking model if they would want a result at Emirates. Pep Guardiola would obviously go with his standard 4-3-3, Freddie Ljungberg should switch to a 4-3-3; a system which he quite often used with the Arsenal under-23s. Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli will have to be at their best to attack the spaces left behind by Kyle Walker and Angelino, and this would eventually lead them to 1v1s with the centre-backs. This would be the second-fastest pair of wingers Angelino and Walker would come up against this season; a mouth-watering prospect this Sunday.

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Published 14 Dec 2019, 20:22 IST
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