Arsenal’s game against Manchester City won’t determine the champion, but a victory would boost the team’s confidence

Feb 17, 2023

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MANCHESTER, England – Mikel Arteta must now choose between sticking and twisting. In their matchup against Manchester City on Wednesday, Arsenal and the Premier League’s top team will decide whether to stick with their current lineup or make changes to a team that has begun to play below par. This may be the manager’s greatest decision of the season for the Gunners.

A closer examination of the figures reveals that, in contrast to City, who employed 21 players with 18 starts, Arsenal used 25 players overall with 17 different starters.

The World Cup champion Julian Alvarez was prepared to step in for Erling Haaland if necessary, and Phil Foden had recovered from illness to compete with Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez, and possibly Bernardo Silva in a wide offensive position. These players are all examples of Pep Guardiola’s preference for a somewhat smaller but highly high-quality group. This is perhaps the best example of this approach.

This season, the trusted starters for Arsenal have outperformed all expectations. Their depth players will most likely need to follow suit if they want to continue and win the championship.

Gabriel Martinelli is one of those who has let standards slide a little bit for Arsenal after their loss at Everton a week earlier. However, Arsenal was not at their best once again. Leandro Trossard, who joined Arsenal for £27 million from Brighton & Hove Albion last month, scored his first goal against Brentford after coming off the bench. The 21-year-old is not performing poorly, but there has been a decline, especially after signing his new contract at the beginning of the month. As a result, his spot may now appear a little more susceptible.

Both decisions had justifications, but in the end, they decided that since they had already made large offers to their top targets, pushing oneself any farther would be risky. The effectiveness of those decisions will be put to the test, and Arteta may have to wait longer than he would have liked considering that his team has already gone three games without a victory, including their FA Cup third-round loss at the hands of City on January 27.

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