Morning all, hope you’re all feeling rather fantastic this morning?

Or are you like me and not really looking forward to the prospect of playing the supposed ‘champions elect’ on their own turf this afternoon?

Well actually, I’m more concerned with getting some pig inside of me, because i had a bit of an evening session at the O2 with a UK garage night that allowed me to feel 18 again. Except I’m nearly 35 and things ache when I get up in the morning.

But enough about my travails, because we’re all here to talk Arsenal and talk Arsenal we must, because it’s the main focal point of the day for most of us this Sunday. Although if I’m honest with you I’m not really confident of the players making it a Sunday to remember. The signs aren’t exactly there for us. One win a few years ago in god knows how many, a manager in Arsene Wengher who talked up risk-taking on Friday, against a side who have been smashing everyone at home and have literally more goals than i’ve had hot dinners in the last month.

Yes folks, it’s fair to say that the odds look fairly stacked up against us. City have De Bruyne, Sterlin, the two Silva’s, Aguero, Jesus and Sane to pick from today. We can talk up the fact that they played Napoli in Italy on Wednesday night but if Pep wanted too, he could still rotate a load of players and they still have plenty that will do us damage. Which is why I have absolutely no idea who we’ll face this afternoon from a City attacking point of view.

If I had to guess I’d say Jesus, Bernardo and David Silva will start, because they didn’t start against Napoli, but Sterling has always loved a goal against us so that might be in Pep’s thinking. He’ll surely keep De Bruyne pulling the strings and that means that our defence are going to have their work cut out for them for the whole afternoon I suspect. It also means that the role of Xhaka and Ramsey has to completely mirror what they did against Chelski. Both need to tuck in, both need to show the kind of discipline at Stamford Bridge and both need to not f*ck up with their passing distribution. Granit, I’m looking doubly hard at you mate.

Then we have to rely on the counter-attacking pace of Alexis, Lacazette and Ozil to find them. I am guessing it will be those two that will play but with Iwobi’s absence from the midweek game, that could also be an option. I’d still go with the main three men though, simply because they are our best three players. But those players have to click and they also have to take their chances. Against Chelski Lacazette should have scored and he was quiet for most of the game, such is the way sometimes for away strikers in these types of games. But the French international needs to take even the slightest sniff if he gets it. If he doesn’t, if we see another great chance that is put wide/over/keeper saves, then the fear will creep in that it won’t be our day.

It’s hard to look beyond a City win I’m afraid. I appreciate Arsenal fans are always going to be positive when you see those polls on the official site, but usually they’re focused on an Arsenal win by two or three goals. I looked yesterday and 31% of people thought an Arsenal win by one goal, whilst the second highest was for a City win by more than three goals at 18%. If the usually uber-positive people that fill in those polls are even wavering, it tells you just how much of a mountain we have today.

I guess I should point to the fact that we’ve seen a disciplined performance at Stamford Bridge, that we’ve also gone to City and played with a tight and compact team and come away with a win, but with City in this kind of form they are a different beast. You almost want to have played them away in December when the season is really getting in to the grind and slog, rather than now when their tails are up. But you have to play the cards we are dealt and this is what we have to deal with today.

So how do we win today?

I reckon it has to come through rapid players on a quick break. Kind of like Hector sprinting off into the distance and having Alexis’ hand up on the far side as City have pressed us high. That’s the kind of goal I expect we can score. Although if we’re behind already by then, City may just take a more pragmatic approach, knowing of our pace. So I think the only way we win today is by getting that first goal and looking to hit City on the break as they search for an equaliser. I know that didn’t exactly work out too well for us last year, but we’ve been doing too much coming from behind of late and it’s not good for my nerves I tells ya.

I’ve got family commitments today and so it might provide a useful excuse for me not to watch all of the game. Perhaps that makes me sound like a bad fan but I’m not sure I can take the heartache of another defeat so early in the season. Hopefully Arsenal can prove me wrong.

Fingers crossed. Actually, everything crossed please, people.