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MANCHESTER (Sporting Alert) — Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany both start for Manchester City in today’s high-profiled English Premier League clash against Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium.

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The pair return from injuries and will lead the citizens’ attack and defense, respectively, in the hunt for three points to close the gap on leaders Chelsea.

Martin Demichelis and Gael Clichy also start in the backline for the defending champions, with David Silva, James Milner and Jesus Navas also starting.

Brazilian pair Fernandinho and Fernando will be the holding midfielders.

Defender Eliaquim Mangala and forward Stevan Jovetic, who is being linked with a move away from the club, were dropped to the bench, while attacking playmaker Samir Nasri is out with a calf injury.

Frank Lampard, Edin Dzeko and Bacary Sagna are also on the bench.

Meanwhile, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has made two changes to his team that featured the last time out as Hector Bellerin comes in defence for the injured Mathieu Debuchy and midfielder Aaron Ramsey starts ahead of Tomas Rosicky, who dropped to the bench.

Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny will lead the backline and could be in for a busy night against Aguero, who is ready to return to scoring again.

Wojciech Szczesny is on the bench, so too are Kieran Gibbs, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott.

Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez lead the attack.

Manchester City is five points behind leaders Chelsea and will be hoping to cut the gap to two with a win.

Arsenal, in the meantime, is in desperate need of three points in their push for a top four place, after Southampton, Manchester United and Tottenham all won on Saturday.

Manchester City team: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Fernandinho, Fernando, Jesus Navas, Silva, Milner, Agüero. Subs: Caballero, Sagna, Mangala, Kolarov, Lampard, Jovetic, Dzeko.

Arsenal team: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Alexis, Giroud. Subs: Szczesny, Gibbs, Chambers, Flamini, Rosicky, Ozil, Walcott.

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