Although a defensive approach worked well when Arsenal faced Chelsea away from home at Stamford Bridge earlier this season, Arsene Wenger says his team can’t just go to Man City and try to shut up shop.
The league leaders have been the most effective attacking team this season, while the Gunners have found clean sheets difficult to come by at times.
However, without going into too much detail about his game-plan, the manager says he wants his team to try and make life difficult for a City defence that conceded twice to West Brom last weekend and twice in midweek to Napoli.
“I wouldn’t like to come out on it. but of course we will try to play our game,” said Wenger.
“We will not hide. When we go there, we want to defend well but you cannot go there and only be focused on just defending.
“We want as well to play, have the ball and create dangerous situations. The best way to defend sometimes is to attack.
“When you want to play football, you have to accept the risk and you have to play. If you want to play football, when you walk out on the pitch you have to accept the gamble and the risk. It is part of the game.
“After, you have to rate the risk. Is it a bigger risk only to defend than to attack if a team is very strong in attack?
“Maybe it is a bigger risk only to defend.”
Finding that balance will be tough, for certain, and there is a need to be cautious against a team as potent as City, but it’s probably true to say that if we just sit back we’re inviting the kind of pressure that they can exploit.
Team selection may well be a factor too. Will it be Ozil away, or someone more defensively switched on? We’ll see.