BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson is not expecting Manchester City to get the three points when they face Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium this evening.
The Citizens head into the match without Kevin De Bruyne, who picked up a muscular problem on international duty, and Lawrenson thinks the injuries that manager Pep Guardiola has will hinder their chances of getting a victory:
“Arsenal got a bit lucky in their win over Sheffield United last time out, but if City are missing some key players, the Gunners are in with a shout.”
Lawrenson has gone with a 1-1 scoreline. That may be a fair prediction as De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero’s absence from the starting line up will certainly make things more difficult. Especially with Gabriel Jesus also sidelined, it means City will have to continue playing without a recognised striker.
However, that doesn’t mean Guardiola’s men won’t pose a major attacking threat. Raheem Sterling’s presence, as well as the return of players like Bernardo Silva, will mean they will ask questions of Arsenal’s defence.
As Lawrenson mentions, the Gunners weren’t that convincing against Sheffield United and City should be able to exploit some of the vulnerabilities their opponents still have at the back.