Man City vs Arsenal: John Stones, Kyle Walker, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli in race to be fit for Super Sunday clash live on

by 24britishtvMarch 27, 2024, 11 a.m. 19
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Manchester City host Arsenal in a Premier League title-race defining match at the Etihad on Sunday, live on Sky Sports - but key players are facing a race to be fit in time for the contest.

With Arsenal leading Liverpool at the top of the standings on goal difference and City just a point further back, the game between City and Arsenal is a hotly-anticipated and crucial contest.

However, coming off the back of an international break, there is selection uncertainty on both sides…

There was a double blow for City's England defenders, with Kyle Walker and John Stones both forced off with injury while away with the Three Lions.

Walker limped off during the first half of Saturday's defeat to Brazil with what was later described as a tight hamstring. The issue was initially not thought to be too serious, however on Wednesday it was announced he would be having a scan and is rated 50-50 to face Arsenal.

However, Stones' situation is less clear. After Tuesday's draw against Belgium, England boss Southgate suggested it was an adductor issue in his groin but the City defender didn't look comfortable when he had to make way just nine minutes into the game. He later told Sky Sports News' Rob Dorsett he was not sure if he would be fit to face Arsenal.
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Another issue in that backline to emerge over the past few days is the fitness of Manuel Akanji, who had to withdraw from Switzerland's squad with a knock.

Throw in goalkeeper Ederson still being out with a thigh problem and it is clear Pep Guardiola may have some reshuffling to do this weekend…

Any other concerns for City?

Further up the pitch, Guardiola will hope it is a more positive picture, with Erling Haaland able to play twice for Norway after giving his club a scare when he was seen limping in training at the start of the break. City team-mate Oscar Bobb also played in those games and scored against Czech Republic.

City's other standout star, Kevin De Bruyne, could also be back. He missed the FA Cup game with Newcastle before the international break with a groin injury and wasn't called up by Belgium but could return after a period of recovery.

Argentina's Julian Alvarez played Costa Rica in Los Angeles in the early hours of Wednesday morning so will have a delayed return to City training, while Matheus Nunes, who was on the scoresheet for Portugal against Sweden, missed their second game with suggestions he had hurt his ankle.

How do Arsenal look?

Arsenal have key men needing to prove their fitness before heading to City. Bukayo Saka withdrew from the England squad as a precaution at the end of last week with a minor muscle problem in his hamstring. It will be hoped he can get back into shape for Sunday.

Centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes was also withdrawn from his national team squad as a precaution, with inflammation in the Brazilian's Achilles a concern.

Gabriel Martinelli also missed out on playing for Brazil with the cut on his foot he suffered at Sheffield United.

However, there was positive news during the break, with Takehiro Tomiyasu and Thomas Partey featuring in a behind closed doors friendly so could be in contention.

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