Adams tells Arteta to drop one Arsenal star in ‘genius move’ as Sagna makes Man City prediction

Joe Williams
Arsenal defender Oleksandr Zinchenko is laughed at by Kyle Walker

Tony Adams thinks Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta should drop Oleksandr Zinchenko for their crucial Premier League clash with Manchester City on Wednesday night.

The Gunners face the Citizens at the Emirates Stadium tonight in a match that could go a long way to deciding the title race.

Pep Guardiola’s side could leapfrog Mikel Arteta’s men with a win as City sit three points behind Arsenal but with a better goal difference.

Arsenal do have a crucial game in hand on Man City but the fact they still have to play each other twice means the Premier League title race in both sides’ hands.

And former Arsenal defender Adams reckons Arteta should play Takehiro Tomiyasu over Zinchenko in order to combat the threat of Riyad Mahrez.

Adams told The Sun: “Obviously the chance to go six points clear at the top is a massive incentive for Arsenal but it’s not a cup final and they don’t have to throw caution to the wind.

“When they beat Liverpool earlier this season, Arteta played Takehiro Tomiyasu at left-back and it was a genius move because he just sat on Mo Salah and completely cut out that threat.

“It was the same in the 3-2 win against Manchester United last month, when Tomi replaced Ben White at half-time and stopped Marcus Rashford in his tracks.

“So tomorrow I would play Tomi at left–back instead of Oleksandr Zinchenko to take care of Riyad Mahrez because then Arsenal would have enough in midfield and up front exploit City’s weakness on the left of their defence and turn them over.

“I just hope someone in the camp tells Mikel he doesn’t need to get clever for this one because Arsenal haven’t been in particularly great form recently, either, dropping points in their last two games.”

And another former Arsenal defender, Bacary Sagna, has made his prediction for the match, he told Premier League Odds : “I see Arsenal bouncing back from the FA Cup game, they’ll put pressure on Manchester City and will want to extend their gap at the top of the table.

“The fans will support the team from the start all the way to the end because they know the importance of the game.

“There’s more pressure on Arsenal than Manchester City because they are top of the league. Manchester City will try to keep the possession of the ball, but Arsenal have the speed and quality to give them pressure.

“Both coaches will know how each one wants to play, tactically it will be very interesting. I think it will be 2-2, which would suit Arsenal.”

On whether Arsenal can beat City to the title, Sagna added: “I want to believe there’s enough experience and chemistry in the Arsenal squad to win the Premier League title.

“It’s the first time in a while that Arsenal have a good team bonding and connection with the coach. The atmosphere at the stadium has been amazing from the start and I expect it to continue to the end.

“I don’t think Arsenal will crumble like Gary Neville said. Arsenal can deal with the pressure, I remember when they played Manchester City last year and were the better team, but they lost.

“This time they will need to focus from the beginning to the end. Manchester City can be world-class on their day and can win any game, so I’d never count them out.”

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