BREAKING NEWS: Pep Guardiola is without three Man City stars vs Arsenal but welcome one KEY STAR

On August 6, 2023, Arsenal and Manchester City met at Wembley Stadium in the annual season opener, with the Gunners winning the Community Shield thanks to a penalty shootout.

Two months later, they square off again, this time with slightly bigger stakes. While a result at the Emirates Stadium will not be decisive, the north London club is aiming to stop a Premier League hoodoo, while the champions are looking to send a message to the rest of the division.

Looking at the two teams, a lot has changed between their last meeting and now. Arsenal, for example, has since signed David Raya and released Matt Turner.

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and Kieran Tierney go one way or another, but they will be without Jurrien Timber, Gabriel Martinelli, and Bukayo Saka.
In terms of the Treble winners, Josko Gvardiol, as well as fellow summer recruits Jeremy Doku and Matheus Nunes, are available for selection this time. Cole Palmer, who scored their goal in the Community Shield, has since left, as has Aymeric Laporte, who was an unused replacement that day.

Furthermore, Kevin De Bruyne is out with an injury, Rodri is serving the final game of his domestic suspension, and Pep Guardiola confirmed on Friday that John Stones will not play at the Emirates.

“No. During the pre-match press conference, Guardiola remarked of the England international, “He’s not ready to play.” “Perhaps for the national team, but not for us.” Kevin [De Bruyne] arrives at various times, either before training or for therapy. He visits physiotherapists after training, and so on. Of course, I see him every day, and he’s improving and in a good attitude. Hopefully, he’ll return sooner than planned.”

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So, without the aforementioned trio, how will City line up for the big game? In Stones’ absence, Guardiola has been able to select a solid back four in front of goalkeeper Ederson, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Kyle Walker, Manuel Akanji, Ruben Dias, and Gvardiol are named.

However, as our friends at the Manchester Evening News pointed out, replacing Rodri is no easy chore. It appears unlikely that Kalvin Phillips, a natural defensive midfielder, will be selected, thus Mateo Kovacic might be paired with Nunes, as was the case in the 2-1 loss at Wolves last weekend.

As the player closest to Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez has benefited most from De Bruyne’s absence. With six goals already this season, he appears to be a lock to start against Arsenal, with Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish on the flanks to help with the defensive effort.


Man City’s possible starting lineup against. Arsenal:  Ederson; Walker, Akanji, Dias, Gvardiol; Kovacic, Nunes; Bernardo, Alvarez, Grealish; Haaland

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