How Man City can get back on track and what Arsenal will do to stop it

How Man City can get back on track and what Arsenal will do to stop it

Man City are the home team and, simply, better than Arsenal. For this reason Emery will almost certainly start without Ozil in a more defensive shape.

Arsenal built for the counter-attack

Newcastle pulled off a shock win over Man City by blocking passing lanes and defending resiliently in a 5-4-1. The wide midfielders doubled up on City’s wingers in wide areas to make sure defenders were never outnumbered by rival attackers, with Ayoze Perez darting forward during attacks to a more central position beside the striker, overlapped by the right back.

Arsenal could attempt to frustrate City in a 3-4-3 shape with the forwards dropping into midfield when out of possession just as Newcastle did. If they can keep City quiet for the majority of the game, eventually cracks will appear to make counter-attacks a possibility.

Before they can race up the pitch, Arsenal need to ensure that they frustrate City with their defensive shape. The 3-4-3 can easily become a 5-4-1 with Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang dropping to a left midfield position (LM), supported by the left-back Sead Kolasinac (LB). The idea is to push play wide, then backwards and repeat until City give the ball away.

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