With seven games of the Premier League season in the books, October’s international break looms like an unruly parent removing a child’s plaything.
However, before domestic hostilities go into hiatus for a fortnight, Arsenal and Manchester City send us off in explosive style.
Meeting at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon, Super Sunday is shaping up nicely.
Not only do Liverpool and Brighton line-up in the matinee presentation, the top dogs from last term then meet.
One of the marquee fixtures in world football, Arsenal and City clash at a fascinating avenue.
Like last season – for the moment at least – both Arsenal and City head the standings, separated only by Tottenham in second spot on goals scored.
The weekend’s mouth-watering offering is delicately poised.
With just a point between the two sides, both have suffered defeat in the past week.
Whilst Arsenal lost away in midweek, City bounced back, but arrive on the back of league defeat for first time this term.
DOKU MAKES IT THREE!!!
— Manchester City (@ManCity) October 4, 2023
After Wolves inflicted a shock defeat on the Cityzens at Molineux, Sunday is the Gunners’ turn to respond on their own patch.
Alas, they may have to do so without their star man.
Having carried a slight niggle for the past few weeks, Bukayo Saka‘s midweek withdrawal was a sizeable blow for boss Mikel Arteta.
Initial fears appear to have been dampened with the news the Arsenal forward could start on Sunday.
Yet, Saka could be forced into bench role.
His absence could see either Gabriel Jesus or Eddie Nketiah shuffled to the right of a front three, with Kai Havertz a potential to start up top.
However, it is the left wing role that could be vital.
With Gabriel Martinelli still out, Leandro Trossard is poised.
Trossard to shine?
As the clamour grows for the tricky Belgian to be handed a run in the starting XI, the 28-year-old is ready to be unleashed on City.
A late substitute in netting Arsenal’s leveller in the Community Shield back in August, Trossard’s record against the Sunday’s opposition is impressive.
Trossard has now netted three times against City in the past, including twice for former club Brighton.
Indeed, finding the net at the Etihad last October, Trossard was instrumental in the Seagulls’ 3-2 win in May 2021.
Not many players can boast such a record against formidable opposition and his experiences in front of goal may be crucial.
A possible match-up with Kyle Walker will be a fascinating pace battle, one Trossard has already come out on top in.
In front of Walker, Rodri will be a huge void to fill this weekend after his sending off last weekend.
Without the Spanish guardian – perhaps the best central midfielder in Europe right now – Arsenal could be in business.
Aside from their season-opener victory at Wembley, the north Londoners have lost all of their last eight league and cup games.
At home, Arsenal are winless against City in the league since 2015. This could be the time to change that particular stat.
Trossard will be central to that and a 7/2 punt with SpreadEx to score anytime.