Man City v Arsenal - Mancini says Arsenal can win the league | English Premier League 2012-13





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Published on Sep 21, 2012

Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri looks set to miss Sunday's Premier League match with former club Arsenal.
Nasri strained his hamstring during the 3-2 Champions League defeat at Real Madrid, but forwards Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli are available.
Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny is again sidelined by an ankle injury so Vito Mannone will continue in goal.
The game will come too soon for Jack Wilshere and Emmanuel Frimpong, who are back in training after long lay-offs.
Nasri, who moved from Arsenal to City last summer in a £25m deal, is not expected to be sidelined for long.
City manager Roberto Mancini said: "I do not think he will be ready for Sunday. We will try but it is difficult. I hope he will be okay for next week."

Joe Hart might have been angry, but Yaya Toure saw the positives after Manchester City's dramatic defeat in Madrid on Tuesday. "We're already better than we were last year" was the Ivorian's upbeat progress report after a match in which he himself was almost unstoppable when powering forward.

With nine goals scored in their first four Premier League games, going forward is not a problem generally for City - but improvement defensively is needed. Yet to keep a clean sheet this season, the champions have conceded two or more goals in four of six games played in all competitions, and the defence does not look quite settled at the moment.
The same back four (or three or five!) have not started successive games yet and new recruits Maicon and Matija Nastasic will undoubtedly need time to bed in. I actually thought Nastastic had a fine debut at the Bernabeu and at 19 is a great prospect.
Real were a test and Arsenal will not be much less of one. Remember three weeks ago when they had not scored in their opening two games? Some were worried then that the goals would not come post-Robin van Persie, but with 10 strikes in the last three matches they most certainly have.
Gervinho's three in the last two mean he only needs one more goal to match his total last season; Lukas Podolski has hit the ground running; and Santi Cazorla has been my player of the fledgling Premier League season.
The teams have had matching starts (W2, D2), yet it is a measure of how the power has shifted and expectations changed that we tend to view City's start to the season as 'indifferent' while hailing Arsenal's as 'promising'.
Three games between the clubs last season all ended 1-0, with the Gunners' sole win in April almost ending City's title challenge. Could they now end their remarkable run of 31 home league games without defeat?

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