Close sidebar

Manchester City V Arsenal: A Combined XI Based On This Season’s Stats

GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN - AUGUST 07: Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal and Aleksandar Kolarov of Manchester City during the Pre-Season Friendly between Arsenal and Manchester City at Ullevi on August 7, 2016 in Gothenburg, Sweden. (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images)

Manchester City take on Arsenal on Sunday with both sides knowing they they cannot afford to lose in the race to catch Chelsea.

Man City’s win against Watord in midweek was just their fifth in 16 games in all competitions, while Arsenal’s great run came to a juddering halt with a 2-1 defeat at Everton.

Pep Guardiola’s side sit one point behind Arsene Wenger’s in the table, but if Chelsea beat Crystal Palace on Saturday, the gap at the top will be extended for one (if not both) of these teams by close of business on Sunday.

City as a collective have been faltering somewhat since September, but how do the individual stats of their players compare against Sunday’s opponents?

Using ratings from stats websites Whoscored and Squawka, a combined eleven can be formed.

Manchester City/Arsenal XI Based On This Season’s Statistics:

Goalkeeper:

Petr Cech (Arsenal)

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: Petr Cech of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on December 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Interestingly, Whoscored have given Man City’s Claudio Bravo a higher rating than Cech (6.9 to 6.7) but the difference in Squawka’s season score was so pronounced (80 to -11.) that there was only one winner.

Cech has been his usual solid self, benefiting from having a solid defence in front of him, while Bravo has been the human embodiment of nervousness since joining from Barcelona in the summer.

_____

Defenders:

Right-Back: Héctor Bellerín (Arsenal)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13: Hector Bellerin of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on December 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Centre-Back: Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27: Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Arsenal and AFC Bournemouth at Emirates Stadium on November 27, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Centre-Back: Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Nicolas Otamendi of Manchester City holds off Neymar of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Manchester City FC and FC Barcelona at Etihad Stadium on November 1, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Left-Back: Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City)

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: Aleksandar Kolarov of Manchester City in action during the UEFA Champions League match between Celtic FC and Manchester City FC at Celtic Park on September 28, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Every available metric had Bellerín ahead of Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna, though as was the case with the goalkeepers, the Whoscored ratings were a lot tighter. Indeed, Bellerín was strongly linked with a move to Man City earlier this season before ultimately signing a new deal at Arsenal.

At centre-back,  Koscielny has been one of the best defenders in the league this season and it is no surprise that his would be the very first name in the back four. However, his his partner in the centre is bound to be a talking point. Shkodran Mustafi has barely put a foot wrong since joining Arsenal in a £35m deal in the summer (as a Whoscored rating of 7.3 and Squawka score of 309 can attest to), but statistically Otamendi of Man City has been the better player (7.59 and 330 respectively).

On the left, Kolarov (7.15 and 269) edges out Nacho Monreal (7 and 218). The Serbian international has become a favourite of Guardiola’s, often operating out of the centre, and has been one of the few generally solid components of a shaky Man City defence.

_____

Midfielders:

Centre-Midfield: Francis Coquelin (Arsenal)

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Francis Coquelin of Arsneal holds off pressure from Steven Davis of Southampton during the EFL Cup quarter final match between Arsenal and Southampton at the Emirates Stadium on November 30, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Centre-Midfield: David Silva (Manchester City)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  David Silva of Manchester City in action during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium on December 3, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

In many ways Ilkay Gundogan was incredibly unlucky to pick up the injury when he did – not just for the fact that it has ruled him out for the rest of the season, but it has deprived them of a player who was on course to be the best-performing central midfielder out of either of these two sides.

Francis Coquelin (7.1 and 237) has kept his place in the face of competition from £30m summer signing Granit Xhaka. The Frenchman has become an important player for Arsenal, even more so now in the face of Santi Cazorla’s injury.

David Silva, meanwhile, has generally been played in a more withdrawn role than he has been used to, but it has been a role that has suited him. The Spanish international’s passing accuracy is as high as it has ever been and his ability to find space and create chances is right up there with the best players in the league.

_____

Attacking Midfielder/Number Ten: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Middlesbrough at Etihad Stadium on November 5, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

This was arguably the strongest section of the pitch. Mesut Özil and Kevin De Bruyne are two of the best players in the league, and both scored high in the two websites’ metrics.

However, De Bruyne (7.54 and 481) scored higher than the Arsenal man (7.25 and 427) in both. While Özil has had a tendency to have his periods of form in fits and bursts (though his goalscoring has definitely improved), De Bruyne has been consistently brilliant for Man City throughout the campaign.

In almost any other combined eleven, Özil would have been included – but De Bruyne has simply been outstanding.

_____

Forwards:

Right Wing: Theo Walcott (Arsenal)

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: Theo Walcott of Arsenal celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on December 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Left Wing: Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13: Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on December 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Striker: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester City at Turf Moor on November 26, 2016 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Theo Walcott has been a player reborn this season, hitting some fine goalscoring form and linking up with his teammates to an even greater degree. His stats (7.38 and 367) are ahead, in a reasonably big difference, of the highest challenger in the form of Man City’s Raheem Sterling (7.32 and 250)

 On the left, and this may be slightly cheating somewhat considering the position he’s in here, is Alexis Sánchez. The Chilean international has been used as a centre-forward to devastating effect by Wenger this season, and right now is a contender for Player of the Year even at this early stage.

Up front, Sergio Aguero has been his usual devastating self for Man City. The Argentine international has scored ten goals in eleven starts and will be a hugely important factor in the side’s Premier League title challenge.

man-city-arsenal

Sign Up For The LOI Arena Newsletter

Read More About: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.