Manchester City were knocked out of the FA Cup semi-finals the last time Pep Guardiola’s side played Arsenal and Mikel Arteta’s team have started their league campaign as impressively. Arsenal have taken nine from 12 points while City have four from nine and, with Kevin De Bruyne out, this is another firm test of where the home side is at.
The midfielder, who withdrew from the Belgium squad early, has returned from the international break with an injury which rules him out of Saturday’s clash with the Gunners.
Pep Guardiola says he does not yet know how long De Bruyne will be out for, but confirmed he has no concerns over any of City’s other international representatives.
“Everyone came back [from the international break] a little bit better than the previous time because then Cancelo, Bernardo [Silva] and others were injured and couldn’t play at the beginning of the season,” said the City boss at his pre-match press conference.
“Unfortunately, Kevin is out, but the rest of the players came back well. I don’t think it is much, but the next games I think he will be out.”
Subs from Steffen, Carson, García, Doyle, Harwood-Bellis, Delap, Palmer, Zinchenko, Cancelo, Gündogan, Stones, Agüero
Subs from Rúnarsson, Macey, Saliba, Tierney, Soares, Papastathopoulos, Kolasinac, Ceballos, Elneny, Willock, Nelson, Pépé, Saka, Özil, Nketiah, Smith Rowe
City will continue to be without Gabriel Jesus when Mikel Arteta’s side visit the Etihad Stadium.
The Brazilian has been out with a muscular problem since our opening day win over Wolves and Guardiola is unwilling to risk playing him when he is not fully fit.
“There are injuries to some muscles where you can take a risk, but there are others where you cannot,” added the boss.
“He has an injury in the part of his leg where if he injured it more he could be out for a long time. I don’t know if he’ll be back for the Champions League.”