Manchester City vs. Arsenal – Preview

In the Carling Cup quarter finals, Manchester City play host to Arsenal, at The City of Manchester stadium. The Sky Blues beat the southerners 4-2 in September, but since then have been in a seven straight draw rut.Arsenal haven’t won anything in four seasons now, and after the 3-0 defeat to Chelsea on Sunday, manager Arsene Wenger is determined to win some silverware.
They are now in just fourth place in the Premiership league table, 11 points behind the current leaders, Chelsea.Man City are 3 points behind them, at 7th place, and as they are one of the richest clubs in the world, something is expected of them soon. The Gunners result on Sunday shouldn’t put the Blues at ease though, as Wenger has a young team ready, guns blazing. With an average age of 25, Wenger’s team include some of the premierships youngest players, including 21-year-olds Theo Walcott and Carlos Alberto Vela.
Mark Hughes, manager of Man City, has one of the most expensive teams though, with record prices paid for players like Robhino and Carlos Tevez, who cost the club up to £32million each.Another important point for both teams is that former Arsenal players, Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor will be playing against their old team.
It will be the first time they play their old club after September’s match, where Adebayor’s famed celebration caused uproar. The striker ran the length of the pitch in celebration after scoring past Manuel Almunia, much to the upset of the Arsenal fans, who had to be restrained by stewards after throwing debris in Adebayor’s direction. The Togolese striker received two FA charges for the improper conduct, the other, for an alleged stamping on Gunner’s van Persie. The pandemonium hasn’t put him out of the squad for this match though, so fans’ reactions will be interesting to say the least.
Players ruled out by the blues manager are Martin Petrov, who is suffering with a knee problem and Gareth Barry is also doubtful after picking up a knee injury last weekend against Hull City. Craig Bellamy is likely to be rested too, as Hughes is concerned about over-playing him.
Players out for Arsenal are Robin van Persie, who should be back in five months after ankle ligament damage; Nicklas Bendtner underwent groin surgery three weeks ago and is still struggling to regain full fitness. Sunday’s game against Chelsea left Bacary Sanger with an ankle injury, but Wenger claims he’ll be back by Saturday, and Abou Diaby is also out with a calf injury.
If this game is anything like the last, there’ll be plenty to watch. You can follow the action with live text commentry and time line from our new match centre in partnership with Leaguefootballlive.com. just click on match centre from the fans area dropdown at the top of our site.

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