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How Arsenal and Man City could line up in the Premier League

The first Premier League match of 2022 will see Arsenal host Manchester City at the Emirates, with former colleagues Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta going head-to-head.

Arteta worked as an assistant to Guardiola at Man Cty before being appointed Arsenal manager.

The clash on New Year’s Day is one which features two of the most in-form sides in the Premier League at the moment, as Arsenal have won four on the bounce, while Man City are looking unstoppable in their pursuit of the title, having won 10 in a row.

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Arsenal’s squad is looking thinner than usual due to some Covid isolations, as they will be without Takehiro Tomiyasu, Calum Chambers, Cedric Soares and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

That will mean another starting berth for Rob Holding, with Ben White being asked to play right-back again.

Further up the pitch, Emile Smith Rowe could be brought into the starting XI to replace Gabriel Martinelli.

Aaron Ramsdale will start in goal behind a likely back four of White, Holding, Gabriel and Kieran Tierney.

Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey will again be the holding midfielders.

Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka are in sparkling form so will retain their places, with Smith Rowe making up the final part of the attacking midfield three.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang still exiled from the squad, Alexandre Lacazette will start up top.

For Manchester City, Guardiola will be hoping to welcome back Kyle Walker, Rodri and John Stones as that trio missed the victory against Brentford due to fitness issues.

Due to the short turnaround between fixtures, it is likely they could be thrown straight back into the starting XI for this one.

Ederson will start in goal, with Walker coming in at right-back in a back four alongside Ruben Dias, Stones and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Joao Cancelo was the victim of a burglary this week in which he was assaulted by the assailants, and a decision will be made closer to the game as to whether he can feature.

Rodri could return in the midfield three with Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva, though Ilkay Gundogan is also pushing for a start.

Expect some rotation in the final third, with Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling coming in to replace Jack Grealish and Gabriel Jesus.

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