Holders Manchester City face record holders Arsenal in the semifinal of the FA Cup at Wembley on Saturday in what promises to be an epic encounter.
Many have tagged it the battle between master and his apprentice because Mikel Arteta served as assistant manager to Pep Guardiola for three seasons and was understudy to the former Bayern Munich Coach when the Cityzens lifted the trophy last season.
The Gunnars will be hoping for their 14th FA Cup title and denied Man City the chance to retain their title. Arsenal got a huge boost following their 2-1 win at the Emirates against Liverpool but Man City warmed up for the tie with a 2-1 victory over relegation threatened Bournemouth and rested Kevin de Bruyne.
This will be the 199th meeting between these two sides with City winning 57 of those over the years.
Arsenal meanwhile have 96 wins to their name – although just one in their last 10 meetings. Crucially however, that did come in an FA Cup semifinal in April 2017.
As mentioned, City have won the last seven meetings between these two sides in all competitions, scoring three in each of their last three victories over the Gunners in the Premier League.
The Citizens also beat Arsenal 3-0 in the final of the EFL Cup in February 2018, but the London club triumphed in their last meeting in the FA Cup, recording a 2-1 success in the semi-finals of the 2016-17 competition.
The pair locked horns in their first match after lockdown on June 17, and it was a comfortable night for Guardiola’s side as they ran out three-goal winners courtesy of goals from Sterling, De Bruyne and Foden.
For Manchester City, Sergio Aguero remains sidelined following a knee operation, while Claudio Bravo and Joao Cancelo both face late fitness tests for slight muscular issues. There will be a further fitness update from Pep Guardiola at Friday’s press briefing.
For Arsenal, Bernd Leno (knee injury), Calum Chambers (knee injury), Gabriel Martinelli (knee injury). Mesut Ozil (back problem) and Pablo Mari (ankle) are all ruled out.
Matteo Guendozi is unlikely to feature and Edward Nketiah is suspended.
Arsenal: Martinez; Luiz, Holding, Bellerin, Tierney; Xhaka, Ceballos, Ozil; Saka, Pepe, Aubameyang.
Man City: Ederson; Otamendi, Fernandinho, Mendy, Walker; Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva; Sterling, Mahrez, Jesus.
Officials for the Game
Referee: Jonathan Moss, Assistant Referees: Simon Bennett & Marc Perry. Fourth Official: Paul Tierney
Reserve Assistant: Nick Hopton, VAR: Craig Pawson, AVAR: Gary Beswick
Prediction: Arsenal 2-4 Man City