Manchester Players on the eve of the match against Arsenal
Manchester Players on the eve of the match against Arsenal


A tough test awaits Manchester City on our return from the international break. Pep Guardiola’s side welcome Arsenal to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The Gunners got the better of us in our last meeting, winning 2-0 in July’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium to beat us for the first time in eight games.

It is a favourable recent record, but that's not the only good omen heading into the clash with the North London outfit, as our form immediately after an international break is also particularly positive.

Since Pep Guardiola took charge, the pause in domestic action has done little to disrupt City, who have won 12 of our 15 games immediately after international fixtures since the start of the 2016/17 season. In that period, we have lost just once in the first game back, when Norwich City inflicted a 3-2 defeat in September 2019.

Forty-four goals have been scored at an average of 2.93 per game, whilst we have kept seven clean sheets and conceded just 11 times.

Whilst City have prospered following players’ time away with their national team, Arsenal's form has not been quite as impressive.

Lower division clubs reject PL bailout

LONDON: The rifts in English soccer grew when lower-league clubs rejected a proposed rescue package of 50 million pounds ($65 million) from the Premier League as they seek more cash without conditions. A package of loans and grants was offered to clubs in tiers three and four, which are struggling without matchday income due to coronavirus. The money is on top of 27.2 million pounds already advanced in solidarity payments, but the English Football League said the bailout was insufficient while insisting that clubs in the second-tier Championship should not be omitted from a deal. The EFL stressed the need for unity across the three divisions it runs below the Premier League. "The league has been very clear in its discussions of the financial requirements needed to address lost gate receipts in 2019-20 and 2020-21," the EFL said in a statement.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal