Manchester City look to trample Arsenal on way to championship
by Tevhid Nazmi Baştürk
Mar 29, 2014 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Tevhid Nazmi Baştürk
Mar 29, 2014 12:00 am
As down-on-its-luck Arsenal looks to face England’s top striking power Manchester City this weekend, Arsene Wenger mulls why a season that began with so much hope could end disappointing all
ISTANBUL – With the league coming to a close, both Manchester City and Arsenal find themselves chasing league leaders Chelsea, however the circumstances the two find themselves in couldn't be any more different. Arsenal came into the clash of the titans in what is perhaps the worst form it had had all season, winning only two of its last six matches while sitting six points behind its hometown rivals.
Though it led the table for nearly the entirety of the first half of the season, the Gunners couldn't possibly have the season go more downhill than it has now. Arsene Wenger will need a magic wand and a whole spell book in order to put a side capable of defeating City on the field as key players Laurent Koscielny, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Abou Diaby, Ryo Miyaychi, Theo Walcott and, worst of all, club record-signing Mesut Özil are all out with injuries. It doesn't help that the Frenchman's 1,000th game managing the club ended in a 0-6 defeat at the hands of arch rivals Chelsea. Morale at the north London club is so low that it failed to overcome minnows Swansea as it returned from Wales with a 2-2 draw. The long list of injuries and constant upsets have taken the club pundits labeled as the title favorites in a position where it will likely finish fourth. With nearly the entirety of his starting midfield missing, Arsene Wenger will have to find a way to get the ball early to the feet of Oliver Giroud and Lukas Podolski as any gradually building attack is now out of the question.
Manchester City travels to London with high confidence. Not only did they obliterate Manchester United in a game the Red Devils
were lucky to only concede three, it did it at Old Trafford for the third consecutive time. The Citizens is the club that is best geared to win the EPL this year as it only stands three points behind Chelsea. It does so with a three game in-hand advantage, not to mention in the event of the league ending in a draw on points. Manchester City currently has a goalpoint deferential of 52, a full seven goals ahead of Liverpool's high tally of 45.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini will not be short on options either, as substitute Matija Nastasic remains his only injured player. Though the Citizens' defense might concede due to errors, its young, fast and technically gifted midfield lead by Yaya Toure has no difficulty managing the game and getting the ball forward to what is undoubtedly the world's most gifted and threatening striker core. Names like Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo could spearhead the attack at any club in the world, except for at Manchester City, where it fall substitute to Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko.
A Manchester City win would see a club once belittled as the Noisy Neighbors of Manchester win the English Premier League title for the second time in three years as it will shoot to the top of the table while still having a two-game advantage over Liverpool and Chelsea. As for Arsene Wenger, with little left to look forward to as the league title is certainly far from grasp, a win against the Manchester Blues will restore some of his highly damaged image. With no trophies in hand, an against-all-odds win against the team that poached nearly all of the Gunners' best talents will be a sweet conciliation prize.