Premier League high-flyers Arsenal and defending Champions Manchester City will lock horns for the first time this season in the FA Cup.
Neither Pep Guardiola nor Mikel Arteta saw the sudden earthquake in the Premier League, which set Arsenal on a pole position in the EPL title race, coming.
The Gunners are staying put in the title race after 19 matches and with a commanding goal difference.
The two sides are yet to face each other this season, and there will be more to the FA Cup clash than just an attempt to qualify for the next round of the competition.
The Premier League title race is narrowing down to the two teams. Both sides will want to put their title credentials in the highly-anticipated clash.
Clearly, Mikel Arteta has surprisingly outperformed his former boss Pep Guardiola this season. They have hit a record 50 points from 19 games – Arsenal’s best start to a Premier League season.
Manchester City has 45 points, 5 points behind the league leaders, but they have played one game more. This implies Arsenal can extend their lead on the table to 8 points if they win their one outstanding.
Manchester City progressed to the fourth round of the competition after defeating struggling Chelsea home and away.
They will be seeking to avoid a fourth-round exit for the first time since the 2014-15 season. The Premier League giants have progressed to the semi-finals in each of the last four FA Cup campaigns with an intimidating nine-game winning streak at home.
Arsenal, on the other hand, will be going into the game against City with confidence after a masterclass performance against Premier League arch-rivals Manchester United.
Despite conceding two goals, Arsenal dominated the game in the second half and finally secured a win with Eddie Nketiah’s late strike.
Arsenal made it to the fourth round of the competition after Nketiah’s brace and Elneny’s strike saw off League One side Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.
Manchester City are well-stocked and will be expected to field all their first-team players against the Gunners.
Haaland will likely lead the attack, after returning to his goalscoring spree against Wolves.
Pep Guardiola will continue with Stefan Ortega on goal instead of Ederson.
Bernado Sylva and Kyle Walker were not started against Wolves, but may likely make City’s lineup.
Arsenal will miss Gabriel Jesus in the clash, who would have had an opportunity to face his former team Manchester City. He is still recovering from his World Cup injury.
Other Arsenal stars that are ruled out of the clash are Reiss Nelson (hamstring), Mohamed Elneny (knee), and Cedric Soares (muscle).
New signing from Brighton Leandro Trossard is expected to start, including England star Ben White who was substituted during the game against Man United.
Martin Oddegard, Granit Zhaka, Nketiah, and Bukayo Saka are all expected in the lineup, with Aaron Ramddale manning the goal.
Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ortega; Walker, Dias, Akanji, Ake; Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Haaland, Alvarez
Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Nketiah
It will be another blockbuster clash between the two teams, and goals will likely rain as both sides favor an attacking style of football.
The match will likely end in a 2-2 draw after final whistle.