Man City vs Arsenal: 3 key battles in Premier League title showdown

  • Arsenal will travel to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday
  • The Gunners need all three points to keep the title in their hands
  • A Gabriel Martinelli strike ended our 12-match losing domestic run vs Man City in October

Arsenal FC v Manchester City - Premier League
Arsenal FC v Manchester City - Premier League / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages
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2. Rodri vs Declan Rice

Declan Rice
Arsenal FC v Manchester City - Premier League / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

That TOTS spot is not big enough for the both of them.

Suspension (gladly) denied us this midfield battle last October, but Rodri will reclaim his berth here and engage Declan Rice in a fascinating duel.

In truth, Arsenal could hardly ask for a better candidate. Our record signing has been a revelation in 2023/24 across all the expected areas; making vital interceptions, driving the play forward and edging out attackers in many physical contests.

Yet he is also quite the offensive weapon and has already reached double figures for attacking returns this term, with his excellent set-piece delivery and powerful strike being two attributes that we will surely put to good use.

But for all his qualities, one cannot forget that Rodri is still the model #6. The 27-year-old forms a very different proposition to Mateo Kovacic and will try to disrupt our midfield structure with sharp, penetrative passing - or the odd cynical foul.

He always shows positional discipline, reads the game better than anyone else and is not afraid to break up play to start a counter attack should we ‘go for it’. Furthermore, history tells us that he is fond of a goal himself, so Rice needs to keep a close eye on him around the box.

City never lose when Rodri is on the pitch, but if anything were to ever happen to him…

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