What is it?
It is one of the Premier League’s two games in hand as Manchester City and Arsenal meet at the Etihad for their 29th league game of the season. The original fixture was scheduled for Wednesday March 11 but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. A few days later, Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta tested positive for the virus which prompted English football’s shutdown.
When is it?
Providing there are no health alerts, the match is scheduled for Wednesday June 17.
What time is kick-off?
The game will kick off at 8.15pm and is likely to follow the conclusion of Aston Villa vs Sheffield United.
What TV channel is it on?
Sky Sports held the rights for the original fixture, and they will broadcast the match live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League. Every remaining league match this season will be televised due to the absence of fans from stadiums.
What is the team news?
Leroy Sane is back in Manchester City training as he steps up his comeback from a knee ligament injury, but did not play a minute of Premier League football before lockdown so might need time to find top gear.
Pep Guardiola’s team returned to contact training with a series of XI v XI matches, but Claudio Bravo, Joao Cancelo, John Stones or Ilkay Gundogan have so far not been involved. It remains to be seen if they are training individually or if their absence is precautionary.
Arsenal are also back in full training with Lucas Torreira – who was set to miss the rest of the season with a fractured ankle – back working on the grass at London Colney.
Defenders Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding struggled to regain full fitness in the first part of the season following long-term injuries, but the break was a chance to recuperate. Kieran Tierney is also fully fit after recovering from a dislocated shoulder.
Young centre-back William Saliba – due to join Arsenal from Saint-Étienne this summer – will not be able to play until next season.
What are they saying?
In this piece of analysis looking forward to the big restart, Daniel Zeqiri analyses whether Nicolas Pepe and Mikel Arteta are tactically compatible. Arsenal’s record signing has shown flashes of his undoubted talent so far in England, but needs to deliver more consistency to justify his £72 million fee. Here is a taster:
Tactically, life has been lonely for Pepe under Arteta. Asked to hold his width on the right flank with very little support, his heat map against West Ham shows a player carrying out instructions on the periphery of the game.
Not least because he is left-footed, Pepe’s natural instinct is to drift around in search of touches; he is an agile and quick-footed dribbler who wants the ball at his feet as often as possible. A shuttling role close to the touchline requires more patience and rigour.