This battle is not simply between a Manchester and a North London club. It’s really between a club which always gives young players an opportunity at the highest level of the game and a club which always buys talented players and tries to dominate the league. Will all-round Arsenal stop the defending champions’ unbeaten home run? City have won 29 and lost none of their last 31 Premier League home matches,whereas their London opponents have lost one of their last ten away games. If Arsenal win this and the following match against Chelsea, they emerge as strong contenders for the Premier League 2012-13 season.

Date: 23th September.

Venue: The Etihad Stadium.

Referee: Mike Dean.

Team Form:

Manchester City: Manchester City have already slipped once in 5 matches and have shown a certain degree of fallibility conceding 9 goals, and losing once in all competitions.The only and latest defeat came on Tuesday night against unstable Spanish champions Real Madrid. City were leading twice and lost the game. At no point did they dictate the game. This is not a good start for a team which is going to defend the Premiership. City’s defence is not as strong as last season and midfield too. Their defence will have to face an acid test against the Arsenal front four. Aguero is expected to start on the bench. But their strikers haven’t failed to score in the campaign.

Arsenal: Though it is not a dream start for Arsenal, but it’s far better than last season. At the same time last season, they had conceded 10 goals and scored 4. This time they have three clean sheets and have netted 8 times in four PL games. Arsenal were the only team to not concede a goal after three matches in top four English leagues. Steve Bould is the man behind Arsenal’s defensive success. New boy Santi Cazorla had demonstrated his class to the footballing world, he looked such a complete player. Another new addition Lucas Podolski failed to score in the first two matches, but his first goal for the season came at Anfield and against Saints he proved his class by scoring a stunning 25 yard free kick. Gervinho is looking dangerous in the last couple of games, and he scored the winner in CL tie against Montpellier. The problem for Arsene Wenger is the so called replacement for last season Golden boot holder RVP, Oliver Giroud. He is struggling to adapt in the Premier League; last season’s Ligue 1 top scorer is yet to find the net for Arsenal.

Probable Line up:

Manchester City: Hart (GK), Maicon, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Yaya Toure, Garcia Silva, Tevez, Milner Dzeko.

Arsenal: Mannone (GK), Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs Arteta, Diaby Cazorla Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho, Podolski

My Prediction: Manchester City 1-2 Arsenal