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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Manchester City vs. Arsenal

City of Manchester Stadium

2nd February 2008


On Sky

Manchester City v Arsenal

This is a game that perhaps a month ago City would be looking to get at least a point from. But given our current form at present; maybe it should be how many we can keep the score down by as Arsenal are in a rich vein of form of their own at present as well.

Vital Quotes:

Sven talks about Arsenal: 'In Arsenal, we welcome one of the finest football teams in the world, led by one of the finest managers in the world. Arsene Wenger is a friend of mine whom I like and respect as a person and as a football man. His team are playing some fantastic football and indeed have been doing so for many years now. They will not make it easy for us. We will need to be at the top of our game' He goes on further: "It`s a big one," says Sven, "a difficult match and we`re meeting one of the best teams in Europe. They are playing wonderful football at the moment, they move the ball well and if we don`t defend well tomorrow we will have a very difficult afternoon."But we`re looking forward to it, because it will be a proper football match out there for sure. I don`t think it will end up 0-0, I think there`ll be goals for sure and a good match to watch."

Manchester City Team News:

City welcome Ecuadorian international striker Felipe Caicedo to his squad from FC Basel. However, he is not expected to link up with his new team-mates until next week so Daniel Sturridge and Darius Vassell are set to continue their partnership up front following the midweek draw to Derby. Brazilian Elano will be hoping for a start after being forced to settle for a place on the bench against The Rams at Pride Park. Micah Ricards will return at the back for City after sitting out the last two games with a knee injury. City are without Mexico ace Nery Castillo, who is out with a shoulder problem, while Michael Johnson is on the sidelines with an abdominal strain but should be back in two weeks. Valeri Bojinov continues to edge closer to competitive football as his second week of full training has just been completed.

Player to watch: Martin Petrov

He produced another goal scoring cross on Wednesday and we might see him cause the Arsenal defence a few problems.

Arsenal Team News:

Manuel Almunia and Gilberto have been forced to drop out of the trip to Manchester City on Saturday. The keeper twisted his thumb in training on Friday while the midfielder has a stiff back. With Tomas Rosicky (hamstring), Johan Djourou (groin) and Robin van Persie (thigh) already injured plus Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue and Alex Song on international duty. Midfielder Denilson is also ruled out and so Wenger is limited to just fourteen outfield players.

Player to watch: Emmanuel Adebayor

He has really come on this year and has scored some great goals.

Match Facts & Stats

City's record against the gunners is appalling, but we did finally get a first premiership win against them last season. Prior to that you have to go back to December 1991 when the last time City won against the Gunners.

Ref Watch:

Andre Marriner - we rarely have him. This will be his second game for City this season and Arsenal's first. Last season we drew both games with him in charge; Bolton and Everton.

Match Prediction:

City to perform a lot better but Arsenal to have that edge of quality to sneak it. City 0 - 1 Arsenal.

Next Fixtures:

Manchester United Away - Sunday 10th February with a 1:30pm kick off.

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The journalist

Writer: Gavin Cooper  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 1 2008

Time: 7:46PM

Your Comments

No margin for error tomorrow, Gav. EVERYONE has to be on top of their game and getting stuck in. Arsenal, the rags and Chelski remain on a different planet but they face a City side that owes it's fans big time after some *****poor performances. Not happy about the over reliance on Sturridge. It's far too early for the lad to be playing at this intensity. I think we will be playing one up front and that will be Mpenza or Vassell if Sven agrees re Sturridge. All power to The Boj, meantime.
Johnny Baguette
No Corluka, my heart wants a win my head says if we get anything from the game it is a bonus. We are just having trouble sticking it in the net.
Buzz Lightyear
This is the sort of game where will come good.
i have a soft spot for city for obvious reasons but i see us winning this with more than 2goals
the arsenal
the arsenal, you may beat us but our defense is not that bad, we stand sixth in the league in that respect and if you take away the mauling by Chelski when none of the team turned up, you may find it a harder nut to crack. Lets say don't put your house on it. If any of our Strikers find their proper shooting and passing boots hang onto your hat. The roller Coaster City is heading your way.
Buzz Lightyear
Elano is class as is Petrov, good am I glad that you boys signed both of them over Tottenham, who were supposed to be interested, as with those two in your side any team is dangerous. 2-1 to the Arsenal though is my bet. Do us a favour and knock United over next weekend. Cheers!
Ozi Gooner
We intend to do you and the swamp squatters a favour over the next two weeks
Buzz Lightyear
Alerte Rouge. A booking for Dunney or Micah and they are out of the Derby.
Johnny Baguette
I hope Sturridge play a full game and The plan be 451, it must play so many matches to gain experience & understanding with the other players, Is not shame to lose from big team, but the shame you come out of the game without take benefit from anything.
city 81
Dunney a possible bit clumsy sometimes, but I would think that Arsenal would prefer to have these two playing against the swamp squatters rather than sat in the stands keeping their segs warm.
Buzz Lightyear
Just another note on the Benjani affair, it is not our fault that Benjani turned up late, the media seems to think we are the bad boys in this. £7.6 or £9 million is not a small amount and if it was my money I would want to be certain I am getting a good deal.
Buzz Lightyear
Just a note on Danny Mills and Derby, They take him on loan, they play him he gets injured playing for them and they want us to pay for it. I mean if you take a loan out from the bank and you break your arm and you can't work, can you go to the bank and say don't want the loan anymore. On your bike!
Buzz Lightyear
I am sure everyone thinks that because we have a rich owner we are a soft touch... with Frank's business brain and Sven's astute football brain think again EVERYONE !!!
I just posted on vital arsenal that I think you're a tough proposition at your place. I'm really hoping you turn them over, and genuinely believe you have a chance. You have to beat them!!! Petrov to get a brace. 2-0. Good luck.

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