Arsenal’s midfield fulcrum against Man City

Arsenal's midfield fulcrum against Man City 1

`To win at Man City for the first time since 2015, Mikel Arteta needs the midfield trio to demonstrate the high standards they have set in recent wins,` Clarke commented.

From left are Rice, Jorginho and Odegaard.

When controlling the ball, Arteta still uses his favorite 4-3-3 formation.

Right in front of the defenders, Rice dropped down to the left to form a defensive midfield duo with Jorginho.

Thanks to captain Odegaard constantly pressing and supporting, Arsenal often broke Man City’s ball progression from midfield, before the ball reached the strikers.

Arsenal’s challenge will be to show the same discipline when traveling to Manchester, especially when Man City will apply greater pressure and attack on a large scale at home.

When Man City deploys from the backline, striker Kai Havertz will join Odegaard to become Arsenal’s first line of defense.

Arsenal's midfield fulcrum against Man City

The tight formation in the middle of the field helps Arsenal narrow Liverpool’s ability to deploy the ball.

But the `Gunners` will not be passive for 90 minutes.

At these times, Rice – and sometimes Jorginho – have to accept the risk of leaving their position to provide support.

Arsenal's midfield fulcrum against Man City

Rice and Jorginho (two yellow arrows) synchronized to approach the Liverpool player.

Arteta chose Jorginho, Rice and Odegaard as the midfield trio for home matches against Liverpool and Man City.

In the four matches that Jorginho, Rice and Odegaard started in the Premier League in 2024, Arsenal only allowed opponents to shoot an average of 6.5 times per match and had an expected goals conceded (xGA) per 90 minutes of

Among them, Odegaard is the captain and the one who sparked Arsenal’s high-intensity pressing throughout the match.

Clarke also appreciated Arsenal’s counter-attacking ability.

On the contrary, this is Man City’s concern when they conceded five goals from counter-attacks in the Premier League this season.

`In the last nine seasons, Arsenal’s central midfield has often been overwhelmed and lost in every aspect under the pressure of Man City’s quality. This time it feels completely different, as the two teams are much more evenly matched.

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