Arsenal vs Manchester City – the key battleground

Arsenal vs Manchester City – the key battleground

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With Chelsea going great guns under Antonio Conte the battle is on between Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool to try and keep pace.

The leaders are on a nine-game winning streak at the top of the Premier League and Arsenal’s defeat to Everton on Tuesday night could see them slip six points behind if their London rivals win tonight.

Manchester City meanwhile have suffered back-to-back defeats ahead of Wednesday night’s match against Watford which is now surely a must-win game for manager Pep Guardiola.

Despite their recent difficulties though, Arsenal and Manchester City – who go head to head on Sunday at 4pm – have two of the stand out players in the league.

Alexis Sanchez has been a revelation for the Gunners in his centre forward role this year while Kevin De Bruyne continues to provide a serious threat for City.

Goals

Britain Football Soccer - West Ham United v Arsenal - Premier League - London Stadium - 3/12/16 Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring their second goal Action Images via Reuters / John Sibley Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

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Sanchez has been in fine form in recent weeks and has 12 goals in his 16 Premier League appearances so far this season.

He is keeping Olivier Giroud out of the Gunners side and scored twice in the Champions League group stage as Arsenal topped their pool.

De Bruyne by contrast hasn’t quite found his shooting boots yet this term with just two goals – both of which came back in September – in the Premier League.

Assists

Kevin De Bruyne

Where De Bruyne will have an impact on Sunday though is his ability to create goals for others in sky blue as he looks to add to his nine Premier League assists to date this year.

With Aguero’s suspension, De Bruyne will need to feed the likes of Nolito, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling if they’re to break down the Gunners defence.

Sanchez has managed six assists himself, an impressive return for a man generally playing as a sole striker, but in Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott he does have options around him.

Head to head record


Both Sanchez and De Bruyne got their names on the scoresheet last time the two sides met in the Premier League, a 2-2 draw at the Etihad back in May.

Prior to that, De Bruyne was part of a City side that lost 2-1 to the Gunners in December as Ozil stole the headlines for his ability to create chance after chance.

It’s set to be a titanic tussle.

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