Boldly, in the Premier League at least, two equally-rated sides squaring up would typically be an outstanding way to raise the operation restart to English premier league which was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic that was ravaging the world at large.
This match is one of the fixtures was scheduled for Wednesday, March 11 but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. A few days later, Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta tested positive for the virus which prompted English football’s shutdown.
The city would be heavy favorites heading to the at-home in normal circumstances and Arsenal has not won away to one of the ‘big six’ since January 2015.
However, it is difficult to garner the same conviction behind City due to the long list of unknowns post-lockdown: the relative fitness of both squads, the impact of silent stadiums on the home advantage, or how players react to such surreal circumstances.
There is also Mikel Arteta’s inside knowledge which will surely shape Arsenal’s tactical approach. With that in mind, this tie might be closer than at a regular stage of the season, but it is hard to look beyond City.
Pep Guardiola’s team returned to contact training with a series of XI v XI matches, but Bravo, Cancelo, Stones, or Gundogan have so far not been involved.
With Leroy Sane back in training as he steps up his comeback from a knee ligament injury sustained at the season raiser in August, Manchester City boss will have ample of options to pick from in order to make the restart statement to other teams in the league.
Pep will be hoping that the league restart could boost the morale of his soldiers in other to foster the idea of the Citizens winning the UCL. Moreover, with the availability of Laporte and Rodri making the heartbeat of the midfield his own Guardiola will prefer his experience but aging Fernandinho at the heart of the the the defence.
Arsenal players are also back in full training with Torreira, who was set to miss the rest of the season with a fractured ankle buy now back in training at London Colney. Furthermore, Defenders Bellerin and Holding struggled to be in full fitness in the first part of the season following long-term injuries, but the break was a chance to recuperate. Kieran Tierney is also fully fit after recovering from a sustained Shoulder injury.
However, Arteta would be pinning to surprise his former boss to a fresh restart ad the coach of the North London club. Arteta might probably set his team to sit deep and counterattack the Citizen on the loose and will be relying on Bellerin pace and crossing to do the trick.
On the other of the Bellerin’s flank, Arteta would be hoping on Saka techniques and composure. The availability of all 11 players from both teams will give the chance to have a good idea of how to stake bets and doing all kinds of football predictions.
With City not able to rely on their fans to elevate the general’s morale on the turf of Etihad battlefield. The chance of Arsenal upsetting the citizens is on the horizon which is impending to be seen on Wednesday 17th of July 2023.
Also, both side doesn’t fully grasp the impact of the surreal environment during the match which is unprecedented but the Citizens are still heading to the tie as the stack favorite and only time will tell if the Coronavirus could favor Arsenal to upset the Citizens or could not have stopped the trend of the result against Arsenal since three years ago.