League Cup final key battles: Arsenal v Man City

Arsenal may turn to Jack Wilshere, seen in action against Ostersunds' Curtis Edwards during Thursday's Europa League second leg, to anchor the midfield against Manchester City.
Arsenal may turn to Jack Wilshere, seen in action against Ostersunds' Curtis Edwards during Thursday's Europa League second leg, to anchor the midfield against Manchester City.

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG V AYMERIC LAPORTE

Two January signings. The blisteringly quick Aubameyang, who scored three goals for Borussia Dortmund against Guardiola's Bayern Munich side, could exploit the space behind City's high defensive line. Laporte, the second-most expensive defender at €65 million (S$106 million), will have to show a turn of pace to add to his natural passing game.

JACK WILSHERE V KEVIN DE BRUYNE

Wilshere's re-emergence has proved timely, both with Arsene Wenger's return to 4-3-3 and with Arsenal's Wembley talisman Ramsey out. De Bruyne was outstanding in City's November win over Arsenal, when he scored the opener. He was even terrific in a cameo for City's 10 men at Wigan. Wilshere has to perform better than he did against Ostersunds.

SHKODRAN MUSTAFI V SERGIO AGUERO

It could be a landmark occasion for Aguero, scorer of 198 City goals, including 14 already in 2018. He ended the FA Cup defeat at Wigan in an altercation with a fan. This should be a different sort of clash. Mustafi has probably displaced Laurent Koscielny to become Arsenal's best defender but, like the Frenchman, the German has his erratic moments.

Richard Jolly

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2018, with the headline 'League Cup final key battles: Arsenal v Man City'. Print Edition | Subscribe