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Arsenal v Man City: FA Cup Talking Points

Manchester City head to Wembley on Sunday to face Arsenal in the second FA Cup semi-final of the weekend. Club journalist Jack Mumford takes a look at the debating points ahead of kick-off.

Back to Wembley

City have made eight trips to the new Wembley since that memorable day in April 2011 when Yaya Toure’s strike beat Manchester United. Five victories, including three lifted trophies, and three defeats make up City’s record at the national stadium.

As Yaya Toure stated in this interview; Wembley and the FA Cup holds a special place in the memories of all connected with City. Victory over Stoke in 2011 sealed the club’s first silverware in 35 years and set up the trophy laden years to follow.

City may not be in the midst of a trophy drought anymore but the hunger to lift the FA Cup remains just as strong as six years ago.

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Semi-final success

City have progressed from each of their last eight FA Cup semi-finals, most recently in 2013 against Chelsea. Their last defeat at this stage was in 1932 against Arsenal.

That’s a stat that should bring confidence to every City fan eagerly awaiting Sunday’s kick-off.

Arsenal have lifted the trophy a joint-record 12 times, most recently in 2015, but City’s final four record means history isn’t totally on the side of the Gunners.

Mental advantage

Pep Guardiola’s Blues have taken four points from Arsenal in this season’s Premier League. Raheem Sterling’s strike at the Etihad in December sealed the three points in the year’s first meeting between the clubs.

Goals from Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero put the Blues ahead twice in North London earlier this month before Wenger’s team claimed a draw.

City also have the edge in the table - sitting in fourth place with Arsenal in sixth.

Does City’s greater record in this campaign give them the upper hand or will that make Arsenal even more determined to prove a point? We’ll find out at Wembley.

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Super scoring Sane

Two of Sane’s five Premier League goals this season have come against Arsenal.

The young German winger propelled himself into the consciousness of Premier League fans in the clash between the two sides in December with his first City goal – sliding the ball past Petr Cech after David Silva’s lobbed pass.

The 21-year-old also opened the scoring at the Emirates earlier this month – latching on to Kevin De Bruyne’s through ball and taking the ball around David Ospina in the Arsenal goal.

Likely to start from the left once more on Sunday, Sane’s battle with Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin could go a long way to deciding who reaches next month’s final.

Jesus returns?

Speaking in Friday’s press conference, Pep Guardiola said of Gabriel Jesus: "He’s is coming back with his happiness, and we are so happy. We are going to travel, all the group, to Wembley, he will be part of that and after that we’ll see."

Bacary Sagna and Fabian Delph were also back in training for City this week and with so many options to pick from, Guardiola’s line-up is an unpredictable entity for fans, pundits and the opposition.

We’ll have full coverage of Arsenal v Manchester City on mancity.com!

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