LONDON: South American hotshots Sergio Aguero and Alexis Sanchez, two of the Premier League’s best forwards, are due to go up against one another when champions Manchester City face Arsenal in the Premier League at Eastlands on Sunday.
City may have splashed out a reported £28 million to sign striker Wilfried Bony from top-flight rivals Swansea this week, but the Ivory Coast front man is away on Africa Cup of Nations duty in Equatorial Guinea.
Last season’s corresponding fixture saw Aguero open the scoring in City’s 6-3 rout of Arsenal and the Argentina ace has been in impressive form again this term with 14 goals so far in the campaign.
Arsenal will look to in-form Alexis Sanchez when they attempt to repair a sequence of diminishing returns at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.
Sanchez scored two goals and created another in Arsenal’s 3-0 home win over Stoke City last weekend, taking him to 12 goals and eight assists for the campaign and moving City manager Manuel Pellegrini to describe him as “the best player in England”.
Only Sergio Aguero, with 19, has scored more goals this season than the 18 Sanchez has mustered in all competitions and with the City striker in line to make his first start since December 3 after a knee injury, the stage is set for a showdown between the two 26-year-old South Americans.
“There are some other great players, but Sanchez and Aguero are two of the best performing since the start of the season,” said Wenger. “Aguero has been less consistent because he’s been injured more – in the last year he has suffered from being a bit in and out – but of course he is a world-class player.”
If there is one area where Aguero has the edge over Sanchez, it is his record against the big clubs.
Since joining City from Atletico Madrid in July 2011, the Argentina striker has scored six times against Manchester United, three times against Chelsea, three times against Liverpool and three times against Arsenal, including in the 2-2 draw between the sides last September.
It is too early to compare Sanchez’s record to Aguero’s, but in the five matches he has played against last season’s top six, he has found the net only once.
It is an unwelcome echo of Arsenal’s record against the top sides, for since the 2012-13 season, they have won only one of the 12 league games they have played against teams who went on to finish in the top four.
Man City v Arsenal
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