Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is
likely to be out for several months after
suffering knee ligament damage against
City are still without suspended duo
Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero.
Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck is expected to
return to full training next week after seven
months out with a knee injury.
Aaron Ramsey and Shkodran Mustafi remain
injured, along with Per Mertesacker and Santi
MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES
Steve Bower: “This is a game that could
determine the festive spirit of each club after
contrasting emotions in the week.
“For Manchester City, it was all about returning
to winning ways; now they face a sterner
examination of Pep Guardiola’s methods.
“Having lost to Chelsea and Spurs already,
another defeat to a rival could be damaging
psychologically with a trip to Anfield also on the
“I was at Goodison to witness Arsenal’s first
away defeat since losing to Barcelona in March,
and it could have been a different outcome.
“How they respond will now be crucial and
fascinating. Can they produce the character
that some still doubt they have to be top of the
tree in May? This match-up is full of intrigue.”
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on the
injury to Ilkay Gundogan: “He will be out for a
“It’s so so difficult for him, it’s sad for him,
we’re going to miss him a lot, it’s unlucky, but
“Now we need him to feel we are there and wait
and come back safe. He’s going to be operated
(upon) and be back as soon as possible.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: “[Guardiola] brings his philosophy through. You expect him to
put his print into his team.
“What you want of a top-level game is that it
reaches the expectation quality-wise. I think
that will happen because I am a positive man.”
City’s defensive issues are well documented but
they played with four at the back against
Watford and looked fairly comfortable for most
of the game.
Their next task is keeping out Arsenal’s attack,
which will be a lot more difficult.
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Arsenal are unbeaten in their last six games
with Manchester City in all competitions
City’s last victory in this fixture was 6-3 at
home in December 2013.
The last six Premier League meetings have
produced 24 goals – an average of four per
Manchester City’s 2-0 victory over Watford
on Wednesday was their first win in five
league games at home (D3, L1).
It was also the first time they had scored
more than one goal during that run.
City have not been lower than third in the
table on Christmas Day since 2009-10, when
they were sixth.
They could keep consecutive Premier League
clean sheets for the first time since March
Kevin De Bruyne has provided a league-high
eight assists this season. However, he has
failed to score in his last 10 league
appearances, his longest goal drought in the
Arsenal’s defeat by Everton on Tuesday was
their first in the league since the opening
day of the season.
They haven’t lost consecutive Premier League
away games since April 2014: 0-6 v Chelsea
and 0-3 v Everton.
The Gunners are the only Premier League
side not to be losing at half-time in the
Premier League this season.
Petr Cech has failed to keep a clean sheet
in his last seven Premier League
appearances; he has never gone eight
successive games without a clean sheet in the
Alexis Sanchez has been directly involved in
17 league goals this campaign (12 goals, 5
assists), already equalling his total from
last season (13 goals, 4 assists).
Most probable score:
Probability of draw:
Probability of home
Probability of away