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ARSENAL V MANCHESTER CITY

5:01:00 AM Posted by Kinar Timilsina , No comments
Arsène Wenger's side take on Premier League champions Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, to find out more we asked tactical expert Michael Cox.

Having won the Premier League title in his debut campaign with Manchester City, Manuel Pellegrini concentrated on strengthening his squad rather than overhauling his starting XI over the summer. Manchester City’s first-choice side remains extremely familiar from last season.

City arrive at the Emirates on the back of a shock 1-0 home defeat to Stoke City before the international break. City struggled to get into their passing rhythm: Mark Hughes instructed his two strikers, Peter Crouch and Mame Biram Diouf, to drop off into the midfield zone goalside of Yaya Toure and Fernando, creating a solid barrier when City were attempting to pass the ball forward.

This caused City particular problems, because a key part of their approach involves bringing the two wide players, David Silva and Samir Nasri, inside into central positions to retain possession between the lines.

Silva, in particular, often starts on the left but drifts into inside-right positions, creating overloads against opposition full backs. Jesus Navas and James Milner provide natural width, but are usually used from the bench.
Jack Wilshere battles for possession with Yaya Toure at Wembley Images / Arsenal.com

To ensure the width is remained, City’s forwards make runs into wide zones - Sergio Aguero and Stevan Jovetic started together for the first time in the Premier League against Stoke, but Edin Dzeko should return on Saturday. He’s much taller and offers an aerial route, although he’s excellent at coming short towards play, with Aguero spinning in behind.

The arrival of Brazilian midfielder Fernando from Porto provides Pellegrini with an extra option. He’s a more defensive-minded version of his compatriot and near-namesake Fernandinho, which allows Yaya Toure to storm forward into attack. It’s also possible that Pellegrini could field Fernando, Fernandinho and Toure together in a three-man midfield, which would create an extremely powerful trio.

At centre back, City will be significantly different from the combination used in their 3-0 defeat to Arsenal in the Community Shield last month. Dedryck Boyata and Matija Nastasic didn’t have much of a relationship, but first-choice pairing Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis are a formidable duo.

Source : www.arsenal.com / Michael Cox

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