Saturday, January 1, 2022 15:00
Ashburton Grove, Queensland Road, London, London, N7 7AJ, United Kingdom
Homeground of Arsenal
Two of the Premier League's top sides go head to head in this battle for vital points in the title race. Arsene Wenger's Arsenal side are a formidable force on their home ground, with a superb passing team capable of opening up even the toughest of defences.
Despite back to back FA Cup triumphs, Wenger's team will be desperate to reclaim the Premier League title for the first time since 2003/04. After 12 years of dominance from Chelsea and the Manchester sides, Arsenal's blend of expensive imports and home grown younger players are reaching their peak. They have strengthened their ranks with the acquisition of former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, and with the exciting talents of German World Cup winner Mesut Ozil, England's Theo Walcott, and Chilean dynamo Alexis Sanchez spearheading their attack, they will be a potent force.
Arsenal's reputation has been built on a strong defence, though in recent years they have leaked more goals than in their glory days. Versatile Brazilian defender Gabriel has added extra depth, and the emerging talents of Callum Chambers and Kieran Gibbs add a youth and dynamism to the rearguard.
Manchester City have captured the title twice in the past four seasons, and with several new big name signings to bolster their ranks, they will again be looking for title glory. As in recent years, their side is based around a spine of quality players. England goalkeeper Joe Hart is one of the best in the world, and ahead of him the defence is marshalled by the excellent Vincent Kompany. The midfield boasts the exciting pair of Yaya Toure and the mercurial David Silva, both of whom are capable of scoring goals as well as creating chances for others. City's major attacking threat of course comes form the world class Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero, the Premier League's leading marksman since 2010, while British record signing Raheem Sterling adds ₤49 million worth of attacking talent.
City's manager Manuel Pellegrini has come under criticsm for his team's lack of success in Europe, but in the domestic game they are near unstoppable, and Arsenal's defence will need to be on peak form to restrain them. Games between the two sides often produce plenty of goals, and with the quality of attacking talent on display, this is sure to be no exception.