Preview: Arsenal v Man City
22 Apr 2010 - 13:47:31
Following consecutive defeats away at Tottenham and Wigan Athletic, Arsene Wenger's gaze has shifted from having the title firmly in his sights to nervously peering over his shoulder at the chasing pack.
The visitors to the Emirates on Saturday, Manchester City, currently find themselves in fifth place, nine points behind the Gunners but only two behind Tottenham, who currently reside in that all-important fourth Champions League spot.
However, the Citizens do have a game in hand over Arsenal so a win at the weekend could be hugely important for Roberto Mancini's men.
With the Gunners taking just three points from seven games against the teams in the current top five - fewer than any of the other four clubs - City may well fancy their chances in north London.
While up front, the Manchester club also have two players capable of hurting the Gunners. The in-form Carlos Tevez has now scored 20 goals in his last 19 Premier League matches while former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor has already scored against Arsenal this season.
On the other hand, Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner has scored nine goals in his last 12 matches in all competitions while overall, the Gunners have won 10 and lost none of their 12 Premier League home games against Man City.
Dutch striker Robin van Persie, who is finally back in action, may join the Dane up front on Saturday, however, the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Aaron Ramsay, William Gallas, Thomas Vermaelen, Johan Djourou and Kieran Gibbs are all still keeping the Arsenal medical team busy.
Alex Song and Andrey Arshavin could return on Saturday and the Russian playmaker is eager to finish the campaign on a high.
"This season has been tough, tight, sometimes it was even difficult for me and my team but in general it was not bad, " he said. "Hopefully we will win the last three games."
City also have long-term injury worries, with defenders Joleon Lescott and Sylvinho along with Martin Petrov and Michael Johnson all still out of action.
However, Micah Richards hopes to return from a knee problem for the visit to Arsenal.
"I am going to train later this week as long as it is comfortable hopefully be available for the Arsenal game," explained Richards.
"It is going to be hard for me to walk straight back in after three weeks out but that is up to the manager. All I can do is work hard."
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