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Manchester City v Arsenal Key Battles: Haaland 11/10 to Score Anytime and Gabriel 21/10 to be Booked

Ahead of a defining Premier League clash between reigning champions Manchester City and current leaders Arsenal, we take a look at some of the key individual battles which could determine where this pivotal match is won and lost at the Etihad.

Easter Sunday's meeting the sides looks set to have a significant bearing on the destination of the Premier League title this year, with the Gunners currently leading the way - edging Liverpool in second on goal difference and City in third by a single point.

Undoubtedly boasting two of the strongest squads in the country if not Europe at present, with both sides through to the Champions League quarter-finals, City and Arsenal are both blessed with some of the continent's finest footballing talent within their ranks.

The question is who will come out on top in the all-important individual tussles at the Etihad?

We explore the most intriguing one-v-one match-ups ahead of this Sunday's blockbuster Premier League clash...

Manchester City v Arsenal

1) Erling Haaland v Gabriel

An old fashioned dust up between a burly striker and powerhouse centre-back awaits at the Etihad on Easter Sunday as Man City's Norwegian superstar Erling Haaland prepares to do battle with Arsenal's Brazilian stopper Gabriel.

Haaland was a thorn in the side of the Gunners last term - notching in both encounters and contributing a further two assists as City picked up maximum points against the Gunners - but the ex-Borussia Dortmund hitman did fire a blank in his side's 1-0 defeat at the Emirates back in October.

Faced with arguably the Premier League's most formidable centre-back partnership this season in the form of William Saliba and Gabriel, with the Gunners' goals against tally of 24 the lowest in the division so far this term. City's number nine may seek to target the Brazil international who is widely perceived to be the more exploitable of Arsenal's defensive pair.

Although at times over-zealous and slightly rash, Gabriel has still enjoyed an extremely impressive season for Arsenal. and the ex-Lille defender should go into this battle against Haaland confident of ruffling the big Norwegian's feathers.

Erling Haaland to Score at Anytime - 11/10

Gabriel to be Booked - 21/10

2) Martin Odegaard v Rodri

With the outcome of football matches so often determined by the team able to gain superiority in the midfield battle, Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard and City conductor Rodri will have a huge role to play in Sunday's crunch clash.

As the player largely responsible for holding this City side together at the base of midfield, Rodri is an indispensable figure for Guardiola's side with the Spain international trusted to not only dictate the tempo of possession but shield his backline and screen opposition passes when his team are without the ball.

So important is Rodri to this City team, his effectiveness will inevitably have a significant bearing on results, with the ex-Atletico Madrid midfielder currently on a remarkable record run of 63 club matches unbeaten.

Arsenal skipper Odegaard is similarly influential for his side, albeit in a different way, with the Norwegian acting as the Gunners' primary playmaker who helps to join the midfield to the attack.

A player with magisterial technical quality, Odegaard is the Arsenal player trusted with unlocking the door of compact opposition defences - registering nine goals and eight assists in all competitions to date.

Both Rodri and Odegaard will seek to thwart the other's influence on Sunday, and whoever is able to have a more telling impact on the match could prove a pivotal factor with regards to which team ultimately comes out on top.

Martin Odegaard to Score or Assist - 7/4

Martin Odegaard to be Booked -
4/1

Rodri to Score or Assist -
9/4

Rodri to be Booked -
12/5

3) Phil Foden v Jakub Kiwior

Firmly in contention for this year's PFA Player of the Year gong having contributed 11 goals and seven assists in the Premier League this term, Man City academy graduate Phil Foden has enjoyed somewhat of a coming of age season at the Etihad.

Still only 23 years old, Foden is increasingly the player who comes alive in the big moments for City, with the England international deployed both out wide and in central areas over the course of this campaign.

In City's recent crucial encounters with Liverpool and Man Utd Foden lined up on the right-hand side of Guardiola's midfield, and should this pattern continue against Arsenal this weekend he will likely face up with Poland international Jakub Kiwior at left-back for the Gunners.

Signed from Italian side Spezia for £20m last January, 24-year-old Kiwior has spent the majority of his fledgling Arsenal career as a fringe player under Arteta, but has now started the Gunners' last five Premier League matches at left-back.

Naturally a centre-back, Kiwior has been an impressive performer on the left of Arsenal's back four, with the North London side conceding just two goals in five Premier League matches since the Polish defender's introduction into the team.

A duel with City's Phil Foden represents a step up in class for Kiwior, however, and the ex-Anderlecht youth player's credentials will come firmly under the microscope in this weekend's hotly-anticipated showdown between two of England's top sides.

Phil Foden to Score or Assist - 5/4

Jakub Kiwior to be Booked -
3/1

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