Man City welcome Arsenal at Etihad as the two best teams in England this season meet for the first time.
It’s second vs first as evidenced on the Premier League table, but this is an FA Cup fixture.
The much-awaited Premier League meetings will be played on 15 February at Emirates and 26 April in Manchester.
But Friday’s tie might prove crucial and set the tone for what happens in the other games in the league.
For Arsenal, who are five points above City and with a game in hand, will prefer the league games ahead of FA Cup.
However, a win at Etihad can propel their confidence to another level.
The two teams play a free-flowing style of football, with Mikel Arteta having laid out a Pep Guardiola blue-print at Emirates having worked for the fellow Spaniard as his assistant before joining the Gunners in late 2019.
Both sides are expected to make changes, especially for Arsenal who might start new signings Leandro Trossard and Jakub Kiwior.
But it’s City who have more quality in depth, and that might be the edge on Friday night.
A home win.
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