Saturday, 22 September 2012

Premier League preview: Manchester City v Arsenal

Lukas Podolski will hope he can continue his bright start with Arsenal when they travel to reigning champions Manchester City on Sunday.

 The English Premier League clash pits one of the best attacking sides in the competition (Manchester City) against the best defensive outfit (Arsenal) but it is up the other end where the game could be decided.

 Podolski, who has scored three goals in as many games, could be key for the visitors.

 The 27-year-old German forward scored Arsenal's first league goal of the season in their 2-0 triumph over Liverpool before getting involved in the 6-1 thrashing of Southampton and starting the London club's comeback in their 2-1 Champions League victory against Montpellier on Tuesday.

 Podolski has arguably been Arsenal's buy of the European transfer window and will hope to take advantage of Manchester City's porous defence at Etihad Stadium.

 The reigning champions have already let in six goals in four league games this season and conceded three times in 17 minutes to lose 3-2 to Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday.

 Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini reportedly chased central defenders Daniel Agger (Liverpool) and Victor Ruiz (Espanyol) during the latest transfer window in a quest to find a decent partner for captain Vincent Kompany and that failure looks to have cost the club so far.

 Neither Joleon Lescott nor Matija Nastasic seem consistent enough, while Mancini does not appear interested in playing Kolo Toure again.

 With Arsenal having scored 10 goals in their past three games, Arsene Wenger's side are surely excited at the prospect of taking on Manchester City's misfiring defence.

 Wenger must still do without Wojciech Szczesny, Lukasz Fabianski, Marouane Chamakh, Bakari Sagna, Thomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshire and Emmanuel Frimpong against City, as all seven are injured, but Arsenal's manager must be thrilled with how his team is playing.

 Arsenal's new assistant coach Steve Bould has done a great job as defensive coordinator, while Abou Diaby, Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla have quickly come together as a formidable midfield trio.

 Mancini will be sweating on the fitness of French midfielder Samir Nasri, who injured his hamstring in Madrid, while full-back Micah Richards remains on City's injury list.


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