Manchester City v Arsenal: Match preview

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Manchester City v Arsenal

Barclays Premier League

Etihad Stadium

Sunday, December 18. Kick-off: 1610


Micah Richards will return for Manchester City after missing the last two games with a calf injury.

This is likely to see Pablo Zabaleta switch to left-back in place of the suspended Gael Clichy, while Aleksandar Kolarov is still injured.

For Arsenal, Kieran Gibbs is still unavailable, but could be back before Christmas, while Jack Wilshere is expected back in February.

Bacary Sagna and Andre Santos are still long-term absentees.


Vermaelen prepared for 'massive test'


Thomas Vermaelen is expecting the sternest of examinations when Arsenal face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Despite suffering consecutive defeats - against Napoli and Chelsea - City are still the overwhelming favourites for the title, and will be supremely confident when they face the Gunners.

City have won each of their home games in the league this season; plundering 24 goals and conceding just four times in seven outings.

Arsenal, then, will have to be at their resolute best to repel the likes of Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli, and Vermaelen is well aware of the threat City pose.

“You're playing against the top team in the league so it will be a massive test for us away from home,” the defender told Arsenal Player.

“It'll be a nice game because we play against a top team.

"At the moment they are having a good run, they haven't lost this season apart from on Monday. I think they are the favourites for the title.”

Manchester City
Thomas Vermaelen
Premier League

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