Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola’s teams have fallen out of the Premier League title race but still have a chance to claim silverware this season
Arsenal and Manchester City will face off for a place in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.
This year’s semi-finals have produced two huge ties, with Chelsea taking on Tottenham on Saturday before Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola’s teams take to the turf the following afternoon.
Both clubs are looking to ensure they do not finish the season without silverware having fallen out of the Premier League title race.
|Game||Arsenal vs Manchester City|
|Date||Sunday, April 23, 2017|
|Time||15:00 GMT, 10:00 ET|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In the UK, the match will be available to watch live on television on BT Sport 1 and by stream via the BT Sport app.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 1||BT Sport app|
In the US, the match will be available to watch live on television on FS1 and by stream via Fox Soccer 2Go.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|FS1||Fox Soccer 2Go|
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Goalkeepers||Cech, Martinez, Macey|
|Defenders||Debuchy, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Koscielny, Holding, Monreal, Bellerin, Jenkinson|
|Midfielders||Ramsey, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xhaka, Coquelin, Elneny|
|Forwards||Alexis, Giroud, Walcott, Iwobi, Sanogo, Welbeck|
Wenger must decide whether to stick with the 3-4-3 formation that delivered victory at Middlesbrough or revert to his usual 4-2-3-1. Largely the same personnel are likely to feature either way, with Hector Bellerin coming in or Rob Holding continuing depending on the shape.
Danny Welbeck is a doubt with a toe injury but has trained, while Shkodran Mustafi, David Ospina, Lucas Perez, Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Santi Cazorla are definitely out.
|Position||Man City players|
|Goalkeepers||Bravo, Caballero, Gunn|
|Defenders||Adarabioyo, Clichy, Stones, Otamendi, Kolarov, Kompany, Sagna, Zabaleta|
|Midfielders||De Bruyne, Sane, Delph, Fernandinho, Fernando, Garcia, Navas, Silva, Sterling, Toure|
|Forwards||Nolito, Aguero, Iheanacho|
Gabriel Jesus could make a surprise return to the City lineup after recovering from the foot injury he suffered in February. Bacary Sagna and Fabian Delph are also back in training but Ilkay Gundogan remains out.
Guardiola will hope to have John Stones back in defence after he missed the win over Southampton with a minor injury. If the Englishman is not available, Nicolas Otamendi is likely to partner Vincent Kompany.
BETTING & GAME ODDS
Man City are 10/11 favourites to advance to the final, according to Oddschecker , with Arsenal rated as the underdogs at 10/3.
Sergio Aguero is the 7/2 favourite to score first, with Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud both priced at 13/2 for the Gunners.
For Arsenal and Manchester City, victory in the FA Cup would be something to celebrate at the end of seasons plagued by inconsistency.
Lower pre-season expectations mean that City fans will be more satisfied with their 2016-17 campaign regardless of the result at Wembley this weekend, but both clubs have faded away to a certain degree as the year has worn on.
They have been left behind by Chelsea and Tottenham in the Premier League, but have the chance to get one over one of those teams if they can progress to the final.
For City it would represent a sign of better things to come under Guardiola, with a group of gifted young players such as Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane and John Stones primed to take the club back into contention for major honours.
Arsenal fans’ motivation might be more cynical; perhaps, with another trophy under his belt and an honourable exit salvaged, an FA Cup victory may convince Arsene Wenger to finally hand the keys over to his successor.
While one fanbase has more confidence than the other in the way their club is being run, however, there is the potential for success in the years ahead for both if the right moves are made.
At Wembley, we may get a glimpse of which team is better placed to seize that opportunity.