Three key battles expected in Arsenal’s trip to Manchester City in the Premier League.
Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta vs Yaya Toure
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is expected to start with both Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta for the trip to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The Frenchman has rotated his deep-lying playmakers for home matches this season but both are likely to be required to combat Manchester City’s formidable midfield, led by powerful Ivorian Yaya Toure.
With Sergio Aguero liable to drop deep and David Silva set to ghost between the lines, Flamini and Arteta will have their hands full but denying Toure space to run at the defence will be crucial.
Arsenal will have seen how the former Barcelona star cut through Tottenham’s defence like a knife through butter when Spurs reverted to 4-4-2 in the second half of City’s 6-0 win in November and Wenger must ensure that one of the duo remain deep but does not become isolated when Arsenal have the ball, denying City the chance to counter.
Flamini and Arteta will also be pivotal in providing a platform for Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla to attack.