Happy 1st of March everyone! We survived this winter, and it can only get better from this stage. Judging by the weather forecast and the latest Twitter pictures emerging from the Emirates stadium, London is full of snow, but the last game of game week 28 between Arsenal and Manchester City won’t be postponed.
It is going to be a rather rare attraction, when the same two teams will play each other in different competitions for the second time in less than four days. For those of you who don’t follow the Premier League closely, Manchester City just hammered the Gunners in the EFL Cup final at legendary Wembley stadium last Sunday, in what was a game to forget for any Arsenal supporter. Arsene Wenger was once again widely criticized for being unable to inspire the team, while the players’ commitment and performance didn’t really support their under-pressure coach. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had another anonymous game, Mesut Ozil went missing, and Aaron Ramsey didn’t look completely fit.
On the other side of the pitch we witnessed the ever-present and always sharp City midfield, featuring the fully-fit Leroy Sane, inspiring Kevin de Bruyne, and returning David Silva. Sergio Aguero made fun of Shkodran Mustafi when scoring the first goal of the game, while Gabriel Jesus made his long-awaited return in the second half. It’s great to be a Manchester City fan these days.
Some interesting facts about the today’s game:
- Neither team will be able to field its strongest squad — Nacho Monreal is suffering from back pain for Arsenal, while Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling are two notable absentees from the City starting line-up.
- There are 27 points right now between the two sides, and Pep Guardiola has a chance to pile even more misery and pressure on Arsene Wenger and Arsenal’s board with a possible 30-point gap from the 1st place and 10 points from the closest Top 4 spot occupied by Tottenham.
- Manchester City will have a deja vu moment, as they had a similar encounter against Liverpool two years ago. City won the Cup final and then were hammered by the Merseyside club 3-0 in a League game three days later. Vincent Kompany has great memories about it and promises to motivate the squad.
My FPL squad has no players featuring today, but my mini league rivals have both De Bruyne and Sterling. Luckily for me, the latter stayed home and continued his recovery in preparation for the Chelsea game on Sunday. The Belgian scored one and collected all three bonus points against Arsenal in game week 11, oops. I was among those, who had high expectations for the new Arsenal striker Aubameyang and brought him in right away, but I sold him and Mkhitaryan this week as my move didn’t work out and we just have 2.5 months to go. Knowing my luck this season, expect goals galore tonight.
Which team will you support tonight? Can someone stop Manchester City this season? Will Arsenal fight for their lost pride? And finally, shall Arsene Wenger admit that his time has come?
Let’s chat, and thank you for reading us!