Both sides go into this game desperate for a positive result, with a draw not being good enough for either of them. However with the Toure brothers headed to Africa for the Cup of Nations, and with Sergio Aguero still sidelined with a hamstring tweak, it is hard to be sure how Mancini will approach this tie.
If Utd win their game against Liverpool, they would stretch their lead at the top to 10 points meaning that Roberto Mancini would have no choice but to go all out for a win of their own.
Going into the game, City have won 4 of their last 5 outings in all competition, whereas Arsenal are unbeaten in the same period. Both sides have been scoring freely as of late but have been guilty of conceding sloppy goals, something which will need to stop if City want to retain their title of champions.
The Citizens have conceded 58% of their goals via set plays, the highest in the division, and the City fans who are willing to part the £62 for their seat in the away end will be hoping that their record of failing to score in their last 5 visits to the Emirate’s will be obliterated.
Arsenal may be quietly confident ahead of this one because of City’s selection issues, but it really is a tough one to call. If I were to choose something to stick some pennies on something it would be for a red card to be shown. In the last 5 meetings between the pair there have been 4 red cards.