Given their position in the league, some might see Friday’s fourth-round clash as an opportunity for the Gunners to rotate, but it could still backfire.
Mikel Arteta has a lot to think about ahead of Arsenal’s FA Cup Fourth Round match at Manchester City on Friday night.
The Gunners travel to the Etihad Stadium, where City and he are five points behind the Premier League leaders. Even the most ardent Arsenal supporters would pinch themselves at the midpoint of a remarkable season.
Arteta’s young team has passed every test they’ve faced so far, in a style that suggests they have what it takes to stay on track. While all that will change on Friday night when we finally face City, there is one challenge we have yet to face.
“This is a big game,” Arteta declared earlier this week. “It’s a big test for what I think is the best football team in the world. I’m looking forward to it because it will tell us a lot about where we are.
Friday night’s match will be the first of his two matchups that the Premier League top two have played in just over two weeks. Arteta is dealing with that with some big decisions regarding team picks.
By giving key players such as Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka, Tomas Parti, Martin Ødegaard and William Saliba an evening off to ensure they are well rested for their trip to Everton next weekend. , many believe he will herald the change.