Manchester City could be the perfect visitors for Arsenal

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Manchester City could be the perfect opponents to get Arsenal back to their winning ways.

The Gunners were brought sharply back down to earth at Loftus Road on Saturday, where an insipid performance allowed QPR to get a crucial win in their attempts to avoid relegation.

Arsene Wenger’s side would have made it eight wins in a row, had they managed to come out of a noisy stadium victorious.

As it stood, they had the look of a team that thought it might already have won – I mean, they had turned up after all.

The Emirates Stadium chief said his side had got a "reality check" and accused his players of thinking that defeating the struggling Hoops may be easier than it turned out to be.

It was an untimely defeat and meant the three-point lead they had built over rivals Tottenham Hotspur to go third in the Premier League evaporated on Sunday evening, leaving only a superior goal difference keeping their not-so-favourite fellow north Londoners behind them.

Untimely due to the fact that their next opponents are attempting to do the unlikely and deny Manchester United an historic 20th league crown.

Roberto Mancini’s side are expected to bring a far tougher test than the one Arsenal failed across London last weekend – but this may not be the case.

The Citizens are having something of a rough patch at the moment and many have suggested the pressure of a title-run in has affected their recent performances.

Arsenal have also been prone to the odd blip or two this season, though the run of wins before the Loftus Road loss will have done much to highlight what it takes to win.

It has been a remarkable turnaround by Wenger and his players, so it would be criminal if they manage to undo so much progress in such a short time.

The visit of City will do a lot to focus the minds that appeared so woolly at the weekend and the Gunners could well raise their game at the sight of more prestigious opponents, though the suggestion that they need this to motivate them to victory is worrying.

City to not have the heir of stability about them that was evident in the first two thirds of the season and have only won two of their last six games, one of which was not enough to stop their elimination from the Europa League at the expense of Sporting Lisbon.

Even more worrying, though, for Mancini is the fact that City have won only five of their last 15 away fixtures, losing three of the past six.

It is this poor away form that has forced them to watch arch rivals United cruise past them in a typical second half of the season for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.

With Spurs dragging themselves back on level terms and Chelsea undergoing resurgence in form, Arsenal need to be wary that they do not believe the work has been done.

A fixture that would have been daunting earlier in the season has a more promising hue to it and could provide Wenger’s men with the perfect opportunity to prove that this turnaround is the real deal.

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