The FA Cup (Long form: Football Association Challenge Cup), the oldest football cup competition in the world which first played in the 1871/1872 season is set to have the fourth round of competition of its 142nd edition this weekend, with a heavyweight clash between the current top two teams of the English Premier League set to take place at the Etihad Stadium. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City will be welcoming an Arsenal side managed by his former apprentice, 40-year-old Mikel Arteta. This would be the inaugural meeting between the Premier League leading and runner-up teams as the two league fixtures between both sides have yet to take place this season.
Arteta’s Arsenal would be looking forward to make a statement against his ex-superior’s Citizens, and considering the form Gunners are in, it would take some effort from Guardiola’s men to reign supreme against their opponent.
Gunners Enjoying a Four-Game Winning Streak Against Citizens in the FA Cup
It is worth mentioning that Arsenal has won the last four meetings against the team from the Blue Side of Manchester in the history of the FA Cup. Furthermore, during three of those four fixtures between both Premier League giants, the Gunners became the eventual champion of the competition in the 1970/1971, 2016/2017 as well as 2019/2020 seasons, with the former Gunner Arteta leading them to their last FA Cup triumph three seasons ago. The current gaffer of Arsenal had also won the FA Cup twice in as many years during his playing career with the team from North London, once in the 2013/2014 season and another in the 2014/2015 season.
Manchester City, on the other hand, had usually been the winning team when they played Arsenal in the last 16 occasions since the 52-year-old Santpedor-born Pep Guardiola took over as manager more than six years ago. Citizens had only drew once and lost twice against the current leader of the Premier League table in the recent 16 meetings, and Arsenal is the among the biggest victim in Pep’s managerial tenure with Manchester City as only Burnley had been defeated more since the Spaniard took over the team in sky blue jerseys.
The Battle Between the Teacher and the Student
Mikel Arteta was Pep Guardiola’s assistant during the latter’s earlier tenure with Manchester City, before inking a deal in 2019 to become the manager of his former playing club. The master has an advantage over his proud student on head-to-head managerial record, with him recorded five wins out of six matches between City and the Gunners led by the younger Arteta.
Despite not having a better statistics against his former superior, Arteta’s Arsenal had been in formidable form this season. The Gunners led by him, and a bunch of young but talented stars namely Martin Ødegaard, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli had collected 50 points out of a possible 57 in 19 league matches, making them the half-season champion in the current Premier League campaign. Moreover, Arsenal’s winning and undefeated record this season made many envy as they had only lost three times in the entire season, with their last came against Brighton before the FIFA World Cup break. Since the Gunners are well above the rest in the league table (Five points clear of the second-place Manchester City with one game in hand), Arteta’s men would definitely look forward to more domestic glories and send a warning to their closest rival in the league table this weekend.
ARSENAL TAKE DOWN MAN UTD 💥 pic.twitter.com/kAqOlvP1wn
— B/R Football (@brfootball) January 22, 2023
Players to Watch
The captain of the Algeria national football team, Riyad Mahrez is the man of the hour for Citizens, especially in recent times. His last five appearances in the FA Cup for the team from the Blue Half of Manchester were painted with a total of seven-goal involvement, scoring six and assisting one. In addition, he has netted a brace each in City’s last two games at home in the competition, once against Fulham and another came against Chelsea earlier this year. As for the Gunners, Arteta is likely to rely on Eddie Nketiah and Saka to bag the goals and victory for his side in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Cristiano Ronaldo played Lionel Messi’s Paris Saint-Germain in his non-competitive Saudi debut last week, here are the match details: https://www.otherleague.com/football/lionel-messi-psg-beat-cristiano-ronaldo-riyahd-xi