Friday, 21 November 2008

Man City v Arsenal Premiership Preview: Schmeichel In For Hart For City – Fabregas Suspended & Walcott Injured For Gunners

Manchester City play, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal in the Premier League at the Eastlands Stadium on Saturday.

Mark Hughes will be hoping his City side can capitalise on Arsenal’s up and down form this season in the Premiership. However, the Blues have also been inconsistent and go into this clash with the Gunners with only a point from their last four games in the Premier League after halting a run of three straight defeats last weekend in the 2-2 draw with Hull City at the KC Stadium. This slide in form sees City in 12th place in the table, but only a point off the relegation zone.

Gunners boss Wenger will be looking for his young Arsenal side to bounce straight back after losing 2-0 to Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium last week after beating European Champions Manchester United the week before. However, Arsenal are still 4th
points if they are to close the nine-point gap on Chelsea and Liverpool at the top of the table.

City are unable to call on Martin Petrov (knee), Valeri Bojinov (calf), Michael Johnson (groin) or Daniel Sturridge (ankle) for the visit of the Gunners. Kasper Schmeichel is set to replace Joe Hart in goal for the Blues, with Hart ruled out for a month with an ankle injury.

Arsenal will be without long-term injury Tomas Rosicky (hamstring) along with defender Bacary Sagna (ankle). While Wenger will also be ruing the loss of Theo Walcott, who will be out for three months after dislocating his shoulder on International duty with England.

Wenger has also revealed that Kolo Toure is a major doubt and that he is yet to assess the fitness of Emmanuel Adebayor and Carlos Vela after the midweek International’s.

Wenger told Arsenal TV Online: “Kolo Toure is a major doubt. He got an injury on his calf with Ivory Coast. But apart from him and Adebayor, who flies in tonight and I have not spoken to, everybody is OK.

“I will need everybody on board. We only get back Carlos Vela tomorrow morning, maybe the afternoon. So when he lands we will have to transfer him to Manchester.”

Spanish International Cesc Fabregas is suspended, but Wenger has Robin van Persie back from suspension, with Emmanuel Eboue expected to shake off a knne injury in time for the trip to the Eastlands.

Manchester City: (from) Schmeichel, Richards, Onuoha, Zabaleta, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Robinho, Elano, Vassell, Jo, Garrido, Mills, Fernandes, Calcedo, Hamann, Dunne, Evans, Castillo, Ben Haim, Benjani, Etuhu, Kompany, Logan, Glauber

Arsenal: (from) Almunia, Diaby, Toure, Nasri, Gallas, van Persie, Vela, Denilson, Ramsey, Song, Silvestre, Wilshere, Djourou, Fabianski, Clichy, Mannone, Adebayor, Bendtner, Eboue, Bischoff, Coquelin, Fonte, Gibbs, Hoyte, Lansbury, Merida, Randall, Simpson

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