Manchester City welcome Arsenal to the Etihad Stadium in what would be the first Premier League game in more than two months due to COVID-19 pandemic. The Citizens, who are on the verge of qualifying for next season’s Champions League competition, battle Arsenal who are struggling to qualify for Europa League competition as they sit in the ninth position.
It won’t be out of place to predict an outright win for the Manchester club if both teams’ form before the Coronavirus-enforced break is to be considered. However, this is football where anything is possible. As the Gunners faithful continue to hope that Mikel Arteta’s side will record a surprise result against Manchester City, we make a quick rundown of three unlikely players who could help the team do the unthinkable.
1. Nicholas Pepe
Are you surprised to see his name in my list? You don’t have to be shocked. The Ivory Coast international is obviously a good player who can easily score goals, but that hasn’t been happening since he joined the team last summer.
Pepe has had too many underwhelming displays this season, especially against big teams, and it would be a huge surprise if his goal against Guardiola’s men end up being the difference between both teams. He is no doubt one player who could win many matches for Arteta’s men, but just like many other Arsenal fans – would be surprised to see him do that in this encounter.
2. Granit Xhaka
Granit Xhaka is another player who could surprisingly help the Gunners overcome City’s pressure come July 17. Though the Swiss midfielder is yet to find the back of the net this campaign, his revitalization under Arteta has been wonderful. He could break his personal deadlock against City’s goalkeeper Ederson in the much-anticipated encounter.
3. David Luiz
The last time David Luiz scored a goal was over eight months when he found the back of the net against Crystal Palace in a game that ended 2-2. The Brazilian is known for scoring from set-pieces and he could do the same for the Gunners at the Etihad Stadium.
Meanwhile, his contract saga might likely affect his performance on the pitch as he is heavily linked with a move out of the club this summer. This is why he makes my list of unlikely players whose goals might help Arteta record first victory over his former boss.