This year’s Arsenal team is starting to feel a bit like 2013-14 Liverpool. They looked poised to end their league title drought, as the trophy was well within their grasp. But then they kept slipping up down the stretch, and they let Manchester City right back into contention.
You even had a very critical, late season 3-3 draw with a vastly inferior side that served as a back-breaker. (With the Reds, Crystal Palace played the role of Southampton). You know how it ended with Liverpool, nine years ago.
Arsenal at Manchester City FYIs
Kickoff: Wed Apr. 26, 8pm, Etihad Stadium
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Team News: Arsenal Manchester City
Google Result Probability: Arsenal 17% Manchester City 62% Draw 21%
PL Standing: Arsenal 1st, 75 pts 32 matches played Manchester City 2nd, 70 pts 30 matches played
PL Form: Arsenal DDDWW Manchester City WWWWW
Arsenal Team News
Will history repeat here, when all is said and done? Or will the Gunners eventually seal the deal, and not give away the big prize like that squad from the Merseyside club did, nearly a decade ago?
Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka is a doubt for this critical crunch clash against City, given how he missed out on yesterday’s Saints stalemate with an unspecified illness.
“Granit Xhaka wasn’t feeling well so we had to get him out of the squad,” is all that manager Mikel Arteta had to say on this topic.
William Saliba, one of Arsenal’s most important and best defenders this season, has been out for quite some time, but there had been a lot of hope that he could come back for all-important contest.
“No big news,” Arteta said of the situation.
“The picture hasn’t changed from last week. Regarding William [Saliba], we still have to wait a little more.
“He is not progressing as quick as we hoped.
“It’s a bit delicate and we want to be very certain when we push him that he is ready to absorb the load and the risk that we will take and at the moment that’s not possible to do.”
Finally, and obviously, to the point of this almost goes without saying- Takehiro Tomiyasu and Mohamed Elneny remain out as long-term injury absentees. Neither one is expected to be available again this season.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.