Martin Keown and Bacary Sagna make predictions for Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final clash with Manchester City

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta ahead of the FA Cup semi-final
Manchester City take on Arsenal for a place in the FA Cup final this weekend (Picture: Getty)

Martin Keown and Bacary Sagna have had their say ahead of Saturday’s much-anticipated FA Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Manchester City – and it’s safe to safe Gooners will prefer the latter’s prediction for the Wembley clash.

The Gunners will be buoyed by their 2-1 victory over newly-crowned Premier League champions Liverpool and Mikel Arteta faces a number of selection dilemmas heading into this weekend’s match.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will almost certainly return to the starting XI after being rested for 60 minutes against Liverpool and Reiss Nelson has made a strong case to be picked after playing a part in both of Arsenal’s goals on Wednesday night.

Spirits will be high at Arsenal after their win but Arteta knows more than most about the strength of their next opponents are after three-and-a-half year spell as Pep Guardiola’s assistant.

Last May, both Guardiola and Arteta got their hands on the FA Cup trophy as City’ thumped Watford in the final – but only one of them will be celebrating come Saturday night.

Sagna has backed Arsenal to reach the final (Picture: Stadium Astro)

Asked for his prediction ahead of the Wembley showpiece, former Arsenal and City full-back Sagna told Stadium Astro: ‘I would like Arsenal to perform because I would like them to have some happy times, especially after the hard season they’ve had.

‘And just because Mikel is my friend so I would like him to be successful and win a trophy. Of course, I have friends on the other side as well but they’ve won it already.

‘It can be difficult because Manchester City are machines. They play a bit like Liverpool, with total freedom and they have possession so it might be tricky for Mikel to keep the plan, keep possession and keep the ball away from City.

‘I see extra-time and I see Arsenal winning because they’ve been performing in the FA Cup.’

Arsenal FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League
The Gunners will be buoyed by their league win over Liverpool (Picture: Getty)

Keown is optimistic about Arsenal’s chances after their win over Liverpool in midweek but believes the FA Cup holders will be too strong for his former club.

‘After the game with Liverpool, I feel good. Suddenly I’m thinking all things are possible and Arsenal could even beat Man City at the weekend,’ the ex-Arsenal defender said.

‘But then I start to think, “No, no! [Kevin] De Bruyne… his feet are like paintbrushes aren’t they?” and you look at [David] Silva and now [Phil] Foden. So how can we beat them? But in the FA Cup it’s been done before.

‘Arsenal beat them in the semi-final in 2017 and went on to win it by beating Chelsea so I’m hoping for some of that.

‘But really I think City are in the zone, they have the Champions League to win and I think maybe Man City will win this but Arsenal will give a good account of themselves, be sure of that.

‘Arsenal have won it more times than anyone else so they have a massive history in this competition.’

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