MANCHESTER, Sporting Alert – Manchester City and Arsenal head into Sunday’s English Premier League clash knowing that the loser could very well miss out on a top-four spot at the end of the season.
Both teams are being strongly chased down by a determined Manchester United, which won their fixture on Saturday to move one point behind City, which is seeking to recover from losing to Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals in midweek.
A defeat for the Citizens would mean they would stay on 63 points with only one game left on their schedule.
This would mean that victories for Manchester United in their next two games would lift Louis van Gaal’s side above their city rivals in the race for a Champions League spot.
If Arsenal picks up all three points at Etihad Stadium on Sunday they will secure a place in the group stages for next year’s Champions League.
Meanwhile, in early team news, Manchester City will be without two of its key players, star playmaker David Silva and captain and leading defender Vincent Kompany for this clash.
Silva has been ruled out with a hamstring injury, while Kompany, who will also miss this summer’s Euro 2016 tournament, will miss the game as well, after suffering a groin injury at Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Right-back Pablo Zabaleta and left-back Aleksandar Kolarov are also out due to injuries.
For Arsenal, in the meantime, defender Per Mertesacker and winger Oxlade-Chamberlain are both ruled out with injuries.
Mertesacker had picked a hamstring problem and will be sidelined for the rest of the season, while Oxlade-Chamberlain is also out for the rest of the campaign after he suffered a fresh knee injury, which could sideline him for up to eight weeks.
Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla could make a return from injury for this matchup, which could see him featuring for the first time since November.
Fellow midfielders Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky are also fit, but are unlikely to see any playing time on Sunday.