Predicted XI

How Arsenal and Man City could line-up in the League Cup

Both sides put their Premier League commitments to one side for the moment as they chase the first silverware of 2020/21

12:12pm on Monday 21st December 2020
Martin Macdonald

It will be master versus apprentice once again this Tuesday evening in the League Cup when Pep Guardiola takes on his former assistant Mikel Arteta in the clash between Manchester City and Arsenal.

Arteta has been in charge of the Gunners for around a year now, but is currently under huge pressure, with his side currently sitting 15th in the Premier League table after 14 games.

Arsenal lost again at the weekend, 2-1 away at Everton, and had to perform without talismanic striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for that one.

Arteta subsequently said that Aubameyang could be missing for a couple of weeks so it seems highly unlikely he'll be involved in the League Cup clash against City. Eddie Nketiah has started the last two, but will likely be replaced up top by Alexandre Lacazette.

Granit Xhaka is still suspended after his red card against Burnley, but Gabriel is available again after completing his own suspension.

Arteta faces a dilemma in his team selection for this one as they have Chelsea coming up at the weekend, but also desperately need to gain some kind of momentum.

Hector Bellerin could be recalled to the starting XI at the expense of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, while Kieran Tierney might be rested.

For City, Gabriel Jesus missed the 1-0 away win at Southampton due to a mouth problem, but could potentially come back for the Arsenal game. However, it is more likely that Sergio Aguero will start after being left on the bench versus the Saints.

Guardiola likes this competition, but will still probably make a raft of changes due to the size of his squad. Expect Benjamin Mendy, Nathan Ake, Fernandinho, Riyad Mahrez, and Phil Foden to be given some minutes.

Aymeric Laporte and Eric Garcia are doubts.

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