Predicted Arsenal XI vs Man City: Does Mikel stick or twist down the left?

It’s the fixture every Arsenal fan has had one eye on since it became clear that, well, the Gunners were actually very good.

Originally scheduled for October, the death of Queen Elizabeth II triggered a chain of events that eventually led to the fixture’s postponement. In November, the Premier League revealed that Arsenal and Manchester City would meet for the first time in the Premier League on 15 February.

The excitement in north London can be matched by the angst. This is the big one, and Arsenal will once again stride away from Pep Guardiola’s side should they secure their first league victory over the Citizens since 2015.

Mikel Arteta has opted for familiarity in his team selections this season, and it’s unlikely that trend will change for Wednesday’s game given its significance.

Predicted Arsenal XI vs Man City

Here’s the team we expect Arteta to pick for Man City’s visit.

Goalkeeper & Defenders

Aaron Ramsdale (GK) – It’s been a while since Ramsdale kept a clean sheet and he didn’t exactly cover himself in glory for Brentford’s goal on Saturday.

Ben White (RB) – White’s hit a bit of a lull, but he’s still Arteta’s firm number-one choice for his right-back spot. He must help out Bukayo Saka in the final third.

William Saliba (CB) – Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ivan Toney each had joy against Saliba in Arsenal’s last two outings and it doesn’t get much easier for the young Frenchman. A duel with Erling Haaland beckons.

Gabriel (CB) – While Saliba will track Haaland’s darts in behind, Gabriel will duel with the City forward when he drops into a deeper position. The Brazilian’s aggression could shackle the Norwegian, but he must be smart.

Oleksandr Zinchenko (LB) – It’s been a forgettable couple of outings for Arsenal’s January Player of the Month, but he’ll be determined to put on a show against his former employers.


Thomas Partey (DM) – City’s press is excellent and they’ll put Partey to the test on Wednesday. The Ghanaian also has a big role to play in preventing the ball from ever arriving at Haaland’s feet.

Granit Xhaka (CM) – Xhaka impressed without the ball against the Citizens in the FA Cup, and I suspect his role will be similarly aggressive on Wednesday with Arteta set to adopt a man-oriented press.

Martin Odegaard (CM) – The Gunners’ X-factor. Big players turn up when it matters most. Let’s see what he’s got.


Bukayo Saka (RW) – Saka’s been defended well in recent weeks, a pattern that began with Nathan Ake’s one-vs-one masterclass at the start of the month. The pair will see plenty of each other in this one with Ake currently boasting a 1-0 lead.

Eddie Nketiah (ST) – With Gabriel Jesus still sidelined, Nketiah will continue to lead the line.

Leandro Trossard (LW) – I thought Trossard should’ve started at the weekend, and he’s made a strong case to replace Gabriel Martinelli in the XI against City after scoring his first Arsenal goal off the bench. The Gunners need a spark, and while Martinelli has performed well in this fixture previously, Trossard deserves a start.