Carlsberg Super Match, Manchester City vs Arsenal

Arsenal v Manchester City - Premier LeagueLocation: Helsinki Olympic Stadium, Helsinki, Finland

Kick-off: 1700 local time, 1900 IST

Date: 10 August 2013, Saturday

Team News:

Manchester City

Last Five Fixtures: LWWWL

Bayern Munich, 1-2 (A), Audi Cup, Allianz Arena

AC Milan, 5-3 (N), Audi Cup, Allianz Arena

Sunderland AFC, 1-0 (N), Barclays Asia Trophy, Hong Kong Stadium

South China, 1-0 (N), Barclays Asia Trophy, Hong Kong Stadium

AmaZulu FC, 1-2 (A), Nelson Mandela Invitational Tournament, Moses Mabhida Stadium

Manchester City have already practised lifting a trophy ahead of the Barclays Premier League season, having beaten Sunderland in the final of the Barclays Asia Trophy. New manager Manuel Pellegrini will need to work on getting his team to gel quickly, and a win here would help with preparations with the league just around the corner.

That was something that was clearly lacking last season and Pellegrini will be hoping his team can showcase the same performance they did in the first half against Bayern and provide the same attacking intent they showed against AC Milan.

The last time these two sides met in the previous version of this tournament, City beat Arsenal 2-0 at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in the Chinese Capital of Beijing.

Arsenal

Last Five Fixtures: LDWWW

Galatasaray, 1-2 (H), Emirates Cup, Emirates Stadium

Napoli, 2-2 (H), Emirates Cup, Emirates Stadium

Urawa Red Diamonds, 2-1 (A), Saitama Stadium, Saitama

Nagoya Grampus Eight, 4-1 (A), Toyota Stadium, Nagoya

Vietnam XI, 7-1 (A), National Football Stadium, Hanoi

Although the Gunners have put plenty past weak opposition during their 2013 Asia Tour, they have not lived up to their reputation against more fancied opposition.

Arsenal were forced to come behind twice against Napoli in their opening game of the Emirates Cup when Lorenzo Insigne and Goran Pandev scored for the Italian side in the first half and needed Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny  to rescue them.

Against Galatasaray, their lack of experience at the back and the abilities of Didier Drogba meant the they were undone by the veteran Ivorian came back to haunt Arsene Wenger’s men when he scored in twice in the dying minutes of the game to help the Cimbom lift the Emirates Cup.

Wenger will be hoping his team demonstrate the resilience they showed against City at the Etihad Stadium last season when they drew 1-1. At home, it was a repeat of what happened in China, with the Citizens putting two past Arsenal, who had Koscielny sent off early in that game.

Team News:

Manchester City:

Mateja Nastasic is out for this game with an ankle problem. Scott Sinclair is out until later this month as he continues to recover from a blood clot while Sergio Aguero has a knee injury.

Squad (from): Joe Hart, Costel Pantilimon, Richard Wright, Aleksandar Kolarov, Vincent Kompany, Gael Clichy, Joleon Lescott, Micah Richards, Pablo Zabaleta, Fernandinho, Gareth Barry, Jesus Navas, James Milner, Samir  Nasri, Abdul Razak, Jack Rodwell, David Silva, Javi Garcia, Yaya Toure, Edin Dzeko, Stevan Jovetic, Alvaro Negredo, John Guidetti

Probable Starting XI: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Lescott, Clichy, Toure, Fernandinho, Nasri, Navas, Silva, Dzeko

Arsenal:

Despite being linked to a host of players, Yaya Sanogo aside, no one has arrived at the Emirates. Thomas Vermaelen is out for five weeks while Nacho Monreal began training this Monday. Gervinho has left the club to join AS Roma while Ignasi Miquel left on loan to Leicester yesterday evening.

Squad (from): Wojciech Szczesny, Per Mertesacker, Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny, Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta (c), Lukas Podolski, Jack Wilshere, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Alex Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Nacho Monreal, Santi Cazorla, Lukasz Fabianski, Yaya Sanogo, Carl Jenkinson, Emmanuel Frimpong, Kieran Gibbs, Marouane Chamakh, Ryo Miyaichi, Damian Martinez

Probable Starting XI: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski, Giroud

Prediction:

It is City who have the stronger squad on paper but Arsenal who have the team spirit. This should be a game that provides an insight into how prepared the teams are for their upcoming campaign.

Manchester City 2-1 Arsenal

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