The tactical dilemma facing Mikel Arteta ahead of Manchester City clash / Could offence be the best defence?

Outdated clichés

The master and the apprentice. An overused metaphor to describe the relationship between Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta.

The younger is the most recent trophy winner and far less under pressure than his former boss. Guardiola is without a Champions League medal since his Barcelona days having taken over two top clubs in Germany and England.

Yet Arsenal travel to Manchester City still overwhelming underdogs. The quality throughout the Citizens’ side is considerable even with the news Kevin De Bruyne is unlikely to play.

Arsenal’s record away from home against top 6 sides is nothing short of deplorable. It has become the classic stat for a broadcaster to throw up onto the television screen. With fans even timing how long it takes for the graphic to appear into games.

Arsenal’s last win against a ‘top 6’ side away from home was Manchester City in 2015. A fantastic display from the Gunners included both defensive and offensive might. With a Santi Cazorla assist celebration capping off a wonderful performance.

The best defence is a good offence

The dilemma Arteta faces is how he attempts to tackle City this time around. When Arsenal bested Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final, the 3-4-3 formation allowed the Gunners to absorb pressure and hit on the counter.

However, City have dropped 5 points to Leicester City and Leeds United. Both teams like to play attacking-style football and benefitted from City’s inconsistent defence.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: Arsenal unveil new signing Thomas Partey at London Colney on October 13, 2020 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 13: Arsenal unveil new signing Thomas Partey at London Colney on October 13, 2020 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal’s 3-4-3 defensive formation came unstuck at Anfield and although the Gunners were in the game for long periods they ultimately lost. With the addition of Thomas Partey, the defensive stability of the midfield is significantly improved.

Therefore, the opportunity to switch to a more offensive back 4 and a midfield 3 could enable Arsenal to be more threatening. Whether Arteta will choose to throw Partey straight in is still unsure.

Arsenal face City on Saturday 17th at 17:30.

See also: Man City chief confirms Pep Guardiola stay is club’s priority

Pep Guardiola signals intent to sign new Man City contract: ‘I would love to stay longer’

Outdated clichés The master and the apprentice. An overused metaphor to describe the relationship between Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta. The younger is the most recent trophy winner and far less under pressure than his former boss. Guardiola is without a Champions League medal since his Barcelona days having taken over two top clubs inFootball (soccer) greatest goals and highlights | 101 Great Goals – Feed

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