Manchester City’s approach against Arsenal this weekend could mean the game is “perfect” for Mikel Arteta, because the Gunners will be able to soak up the pressure and take advantage of City’s lacklustre defence. That’s the opinion of former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood.
Arteta will go up against his former club this Saturday as Arsenal travel to the Etihad to face Manchester City.
It will be the second time Arteta and Pep Guardiola will square off against each other in the Premier League, with City winning their first meeting 3-0 back in June.
Since that match, Arsenal have gone on to win the FA Cup and Community Shield, before making a brilliant start to this season’s Premier League campaign.
Arteta has set up his Gunners side to play on the counter-attack due to their pace in attack, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Willian employed on the wings.
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City, on the other hand, always look to control possession and pin their opposition back, but have been criticised for their defensive liabilities recently.
Speaking to Premier League Productions, Sherwood explained that because City’s midfielders don’t cover the defence, Arsenal will be able to take advantage and punish Guardiola’s side.
He said: “Signing Aubameyang [to a new contract] was a huge, huge signing for the football club.
“That’s their game-plan at the moment – and I’m sure it’s an evolving identity that they’ve got.. Arsenal fans won’t be happy with years and years of watching this [counter-attacking football].
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“He’s got a counter-attacking style, and he’s convincing players like Aubameyang to run back into the left-back spot, Lacazette is dropping into the midfield areas, same with Pepe when he plays.
“Whoever it is, they know they have to work very hard out of possession and not concede any spaces.
“That’s going to be crucial for this Manchester City game.
“Manchester City are almost sitting ducks for this Arsenal side, with so much pace and firepower up front.
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“They’ll just sit in, let City have more possession, and he’ll know where the weaknesses are. The weaknesses for City are in defence, and [Arteta] will expose them.
“Their midfield doesn’t really cover the defence because it isn’t how Pep wants to play.
“It’s how we love to watch football play – I know I do, I love watching Pep Guardiola’s teams play because it’s so free-spirited, off the cuff football with a certain amount of organisation, but he wants them to score goals and out-score the opposition.
“I think it’ll be very hard to break down a very rigid Arsenal side, and it could be the perfect game for Arteta.”
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