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Man City desperate to bounce back against in-form Arsenal

| 15.12.2011

Following their maiden domestic defeat of the season at Stamford Bridge earlier in the week, it will be interesting to see how Manchester City will react to this first setback.

They face an Arsenal side unbeaten in their last ten league matches, and featuring arguably the hottest striker in world football at the minute in Robin Van Persie.

City have a 100% record at the Etihad Stadium this season, and are 4/6 to extend this run against the Londoners.

Their discipline has been questionable of late though, and Gael Clichy will miss the clash against his former employers after becoming the third player in sky blue to be dismissed in their past six matches.

Pablo Zabaleta will likely move to left back to deputise for Frenchman Clichy, with Micah Richards set to return at right back after missing the Chelsea game with a calf injury.

Roberto Mancini otherwise has no fresh injury or suspension worries, but could rotate his massive and immensely talented squad by giving chances to Edin Dzeko and former Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri, who have been used more sparingly in recent weeks.

For the visitors, it will be a case of hoping their recent exuberance which has been epitomised by imperious forward Robin Van Persie will continue at Eastlands.

Arsene Wenger’s only fresh injury concern is Andre Santos, who sustained an ankle injury last week that will keep him out for three months.

He didn’t take part in Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Everton though, and Thomas Vermaelen looks set to continue in a less familiar left back role in his place.

The improving form of Theo Walcott could also prove a factor, as his combination with his captain Van Persie in recent weeks has proved extremely fruitful.

Arsenal are a big 4/1 to follow up a 3-0 success at Eastlands last year with another win here, but with City’s home advantage an adequate counter to Arsenal’s superior recent form, the draw could be the best bet at 11/4.



John Klee