The Premier League is back!
Manchester City and Arsenal will battle it out on Wednesday 17 June at the Etihad the chance for both to strengthen their chances of a top-four finish with a win in this game in hand.
It has been over three months since we last tasted live action on these shores, but reigning champions City will be headlining a blockbuster bout against top-four aspirants Arsenal, following the Aston Villa-Sheffield United curtain raiser.
The contest has already been rearranged twice this season and was the first Premier League match to be postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic after Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta – gearing up for his first return to the Etihad – tested positive for COVID-19.
The landscape will be entirely different to what we’re generally used to but those who have been watching the Bundesliga in recent weeks will already be familiar with the five-substitution rule, the subdued post-goal celebrations and, of course, the lack of fans in the stadium.
Mikel Arteta goes head-to-head with his former boss Pep Guardiola, having spent three-and-a-half years as the assistant coach at Manchester City before taking over at Arsenal.
Man City could move seven points clear of third-placed Leicester City, while Arsenal are aiming to overtake Tottenham Hotspur and close the eight-point gap to fourth place.
Man City have dominated this fixture in recent years, winning each of their last six meetings across all competitions by an aggregate score of 17-2 – their best ever run against the Gunners.
The most recent meeting saw City cruise to a 3-0 victory at the Emirates in December, with all of the goals coming in the first half as De Bruyne netted either side of a Raheem Sterling strike.
Arsenal have not won a league game against Man City since December 2015, while you have to go back to January of that year for their last league win at the Etihad.
Manchester City vs Arsenal: last five meetings
15 Dec 19 PL Arsenal 0 Manchester City 3
3 Feb 19 PL Manchester City 3 Arsenal 1
12 Aug 18 PL Arsenal 0 Manchester City 2
1 Mar 18 PL Arsenal 0 Manchester City 3
25 Feb 18 LC Arsenal 0 Manchester City 3
This was a fascinating contest even before the three-month stoppage threw a number of other unique elements into the mix. Arteta knows Guardiola and Man City’s style better than anyone, and the time off will have given him the chance to stamp his own mark on Arsenal.