Struggling Arsenal will take on the defending champions Man City in the quarterfinal clash of Carabao Cup 2020-21. Arsenal are coming off a 1-0 loss to Everton in top-flight, while Man City got all three points against Southampton last week.
Match Timings: Dec 23, 1:30 AM IST
Mikel Arteta will face his former boss Pep Guardiola to release some pressure following Premier League's poor performance. It’s been a year since Arteta left the City and joined Arsenal as the manager. He won FA Cup and Community Shield during this period, defeating Chelsea and Liverpool, respectively. After defeating Klopp’s side in the penalty shootout, Arsenal had a poor show in the domestic season 2020-21. Arteta’s men have won just two Premier League matches since the Community Shield triumph. The Gunners have picked up just 14 points from 14 matches and occupy the 15th spot.
Arsenal lost to Everton at Goodison Park last week to mark the club's worst start since 1974-75. Rob Holding provided the early lead with an own goal, which was later equalised by Nicolas Pepe in the 25th minute through a penalty. Everton didn’t wait much, and Yerry Mina scored the second goal before the half-time break. The Gunners have lost eight matches from the previous 12 at England’s top-flight, and they are winless in its last seven outings.
The worst fact is, Arsenal are just 4-points ahead of the relegation zone, and Arteta would not deny that the Gunners are playing so bad this season. They can find inspiration from the Europa League 2020-21, where they won all six group-stage games. In EFL CUP 2020-21, they have defeated Leicester City and Liverpool, but they have been knocked out six times out of its previous eight quarter-finals in the past. They last won the title of this competition 27 years ago in 1993, and they did it twice in the history of the EFL Cup.
Meanwhile, Man City surely would not take this game seriously, and Pep Guardiola is focusing on the Premier League. The defending champions have won the Carabao Cup title seven times, including five in the last seven years, and if they win it again, they will be the second team in history to win the title four times in a row. Only Liverpool emerged victorious in a similar way from 1981 to 1984. City’s last EFL Cup defeat came in October 2016, and Pep Guardiola would be confident of adding silverware this season. They have faced Arsenal in 2018’s final when they become the titleholder.
Man City’s campaign in top-flight is not promising well as they dropped points in a silly manner. They failed to get three points against Liverpool at home as Bryne missed the penalty. In the Manchester derby, City was held to a draw, and they missed out on some key chances. Leeds and West Brom settled them for a draw where Guardiola was expecting full points. In the previous game, the Citizens edged past Southampton 1-0, courtesy of Raheem Sterling’s early first-half strike.
Guardiola's side is unbeaten in its last eight games across all competitions, and they kept seven clean sheets in these games. They have lost just one of its previous 13 in away fixtures across all competitions, keeping four clean sheets in the last four. In this tournament, they are unbeaten from the last 10 away games. Both sides last met in the FA Cup semifinal, and Gunners emerged victorious 2-0 and later won the title.
Arsenal will be without the captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang due to a calf injury. Granit Xhaka will serve his suspension following his red card against Burnley. Gabriel Magalhaes is back in the starting lineup. On the other hand, Gabriel Jesus would miss one more match for City, and the duo Aymeric Laporte and Eric Garcia are other absentees. Fernandinho, Sergio Aguero, Benjamin Mendy, Nathan Ake, Phil Foden, and Riyad Mahrez might be back to the team after missing out on the previous match.
Possible Lineups & Current Form
Lineup: Leno; Mustafi, Gabriel, Luiz; Bellerin, Ceballos, Elneny, Kolasinac; Willock, Lacazette, Saka
Current Form: W L W L D L
Previous match: 2-1 defeat against Everton (Premier League)
Lineup: Steffen; Cancelo, Stones, Ake, Mendy; Fernandinho, Gundogan; Mahrez, Foden, Torres; Aguero
Current Form: D W W D D W
Previous match: 1-0 victory against Southampton (Premier League)
3 goals in Premier League 2020-21
1 goal in Premier League 2020-21
4 goals in Premier League 2020-21
4 goals in Premier League 2020-21