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Combined XI: Manchester City vs. Arsenal

By , Senior Reporter | 2mo
Sports Mole selects a combined XI from those expected to be available for Sunday's Premier League clash between Manchester City and Arsenal.

Manchester City have a chance to make it four top-flight wins in a row against Arsenal for the first time since 1937 when the sides lock horns this weekend.

The Citizens' most recent victory against the Gunners came on the opening weekend of the season when cruising to a 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal head into Sunday's match sitting fourth in the Premier League table, nine points adrift of their opponents, but they are in good form in the league thanks to back-to-back wins over Chelsea and Cardiff City.

Ahead of this latest high-profile tussle between the two clubs, Sports Mole selects the strongest combined XI from both teams using only the players expected to be available for selection.

Out: Vincent Kompany (muscle), Claudio Bravo (Achilles), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (knee), Hector Bellerin (knee), Rob Holding (knee), Danny Welbeck (ankle)

Bernd Leno has taken time to adapt to English football, whereas Ederson - a slight fitness concern for this weekend - hit the ground running upon his arrival last summer. The Brazilian kept four clean sheets on the spin prior to Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Newcastle United, and only Liverpool stopper Alisson Becker has more clean sheets this term.

Arsenal have been hit by a number of injuries across their backline, including the loss of influential right-back Bellerin. While Kyle Walker has not always been at his best since the World Cup, seeing him recently left out of City's starting lineup, he is the best choice for this hybrid side, while Benjamin Mendy - in and out of the side because of a knee injury - has no real competition on the opposite flank.

Unai Emery has failed to settle on a preferred backline, not helped by a number of injury problems. Laurent Koscielny was out of the side as soon as he returned because of a fresh injury blow, but when he features the Gunners always look a little more solid. John Stones has been a regular presence at the back for Man City, meanwhile, starting 15 of their Premier League matches, but Aymeric Laporte offers more and gets the nod here alongside compatriot Koscielny.

Man City have a whole array of options in the middle of the park, but there is no doubt that the trio of Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho and David Silva is the holy grail of sorts for Pep Guardiola. Lucas Torreira has impressed in his maiden campaign at the Emirates Stadium, Aaron Ramsey always puts in a good shift when called upon and Granit Xhaka has also improved, but there is no dislodging City's title-winning trident.

Both teams boast prolific goalscorers in their forward lines, with Sergio Aguero netting 11 times this season and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finding the back of the net 15 times. Gabriel Jesus has done a good job of late and Alexandre Lacazette has thrived alongside Aubameyang, but it is difficult to find room for either player in this setup. One of Leroy Sane or Raheem Sterling simply has to be included, and it is the latter - who is on 99 goal involvements for City in the Premier League - who is included just off the front two, given licence to roam into the wide areas.



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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool34267177205785
2Manchester CityMan City33272486226483
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs332211064343067
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Leicester CityLeicester34145154645147
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33138124142-147
9Everton34137144644246
10Watford33137134748-146
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham34126164252-1042
12Bournemouth34125174961-1241
13Crystal Palace34116174046-639
14Burnley34116174260-1839
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle34108163243-1138
16Southampton3399153954-1536
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3396183253-2133
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3455243276-4420
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3435261967-4814
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Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool34267177205785
2Manchester CityMan City33272486226483
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs332211064343067
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Leicester CityLeicester34145154645147
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33138124142-147
9Everton34137144644246
10Watford33137134748-146
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham34126164252-1042
12Bournemouth34125174961-1241
13Crystal Palace34116174046-639
14Burnley34116174260-1839
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle34108163243-1138
16Southampton3399153954-1536
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3396183253-2133
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3455243276-4420
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3435261967-4814
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
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