Manchester City travel to the Emirates to face Arsenal on Sunday, as both teams attempt to revive seasons that have so far disappointed.
Managerless Arsenal sit in ninth in the table after an important 3-1 away win against West Ham last time out. They are seven points off fourth and will be wanting to close the gap on Chelsea in the Champions League spots.
Pep Guardiola's side's title defence has been underwhelming to say the least. They sit third in the table behind Liverpool and Leicester. If they are to retain their Premier League title they would need to come from a record 14 points behind.
Arsenal vs Manchester City has a big game feeling about it - but this time round for some very different reasons. Both team's seasons are stuttering and this game could be crucial as to where they finish at the end of the campaign.
Arsenal need European football to attract a top class manager to the club, while City will want to keep fighting to reclaim their title until the very end of the season - it makes for some very interesting viewing this Sunday.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 15 December|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||16:30 (GMT)|
|Where Is It Being Played?||Emirates Stadium|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Sky Sports Main Event|
Interim boss Freddie Ljungberg made nine changes to his side for their Europa League clash in midweek but is likely to restore much of the first team for this huge clash.
He has to contend with injuries to some key players, however. Kieran Tierney will definitely miss out with a dislocated shoulder while both Hector Bellerin and Granit Xhaka are doubts with a hamstring injury and concussion, respectively.
Meanwhile, Guardiola will stick with Gabriel Jesus leading the line as Sergio Aguero is still sidelined. Jesus is in fine form coming off scoring a hat-trick in the Champions League in midweek.
There are more problems at centre half for the Citizens, with John Stones definitely out after suffering a hamstring injury. David Silva is also doubtful and faces a late fitness test having picked up a knock against Manchester United.
|Arsenal||Leno; Maitland-Niles, Luiz, Sokratis, Kolasinac; Torreira, Guendouzi; Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette|
|Manchester City||Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Angelino; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling|
Opta's Stats & Sound Pre-Match Advice
City enjoy facing Arsenal, winning their past four meetings, including victories on their two most recent trips to Emirates Stadium. But Arsenal fans should not be too concerned if they concede first, as no Premier League side have rescued more points (10) from losing positions this term.
Alexandre Lacazette – with all five of his league goals coming at home – and Gabriel Jesus – with all five of his league goals coming away from home – look likely scorers.
Historically, Arsenal have the better record between these two teams having won 96 games against Manchester City, while the Citizens have won 55, with a further 45 ending in a draw.
However, and unsurprisingly, this record has been flipped in recent years - with City dominating the fixture. They've won the last five in all competitions and have only lost once to Arsenal in the last nine meetings - and even that was after extra time in an FA Cup semi final.
The last time these two met was in the Premier League in February when City breezed past Arsenal 3-1 at the Etihad thanks to a Sergio Aguero hat-trick. The last game at the Emirates ended in a 2-0 win for the visitors.
Since they sacked Spaniard Unai Emery, Arsenal have been getting slowly better. They recorded their first Premier League win since the start of October when they beat West Ham last time out.
However, Ljungberg has lost his only home game in charge of the Gunners against Brighton as Arsenal struggle to find any sort of consistent form. The other two games the Swede has overseen have both been 2-2 away draws against Norwich and Standard Liège, respectively.
Manchester City have been very inconsistent as of late and their title defence is stalling. They've only won two of their last five league and have pivotally lost to both Liverpool and Manchester United in that time.
Their European form has been dominant, though, and they are coming off a great performance away in Croatia having beat Dinamo Zagreb 4-1. They will want to bounce back from that Manchester derby defeat and this might be the perfect opportunity.
|Standard Liège 2-2 Arsenal (12/12)||Dinamo Zagreb 1-4 Manchester City (11/12)|
|West Ham 1-3 Arsenal (9/12)||Manchester City 1-2 Manchester United (7/12)|
|Arsenal 1-2 Brighton (5/12)||Burnley 1-4 Manchester City (3/12)|
|Norwich 2-2 Arsenal (1/12)||Newcastle 2-2 Manchester City (30/11)|
|Arsenal 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt (28/11)||Manchester City 1-1 Shakhtar Donetsk (26/11)|
Arsenal will be on a high after winning their first league game in two months while City will be wanting to bounce back.
Ljungberg's side haven't quite looked assured since he took over and are still very edgy at the back. The same should be said about Guardiola's side, especially with their centre back problems.
Expect goals. Two current poor defences with a lot of attacking talent on show for both sides. The visitors should just have enough to get it done but it will be a close game and could swing either way.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-3 Manchester City