Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he will not set his team up to defend deep against Manchester City and will attack when the need arises. The north London club are massive underdogs going into the fixture, trailing the league leaders by nine points, with 10 games played thus far in the campaign.
The Gunners have won only one game in the league thus far on their travels, against a hapless Everton side, while keeping a perfect record at home. Three losses and a draw have put a massive dent on their title chances and the task gets more difficult against City, who have an imperious record at the Etihad.
The Gunners will be without David Ospina, Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers and Danny Welbeck for the fixture, with all four expected to be back after the international break. Sead Kolasinac, who had to come off against Swansea with a groin problem, would require a further test at the end of the week and Wenger revealed that his issue was not as bad as first feared.
The manager has been criticised previously for being picked off against the top sides despite having the majority of the possession owing to their gung-ho style, but Wenger insists that this is a risk they have to take if they want to win.
"I wouldn't like to come out on [our approach] but of course we will try to play our game. We will not hide," Wenger said, as quoted by Arsenal's official website. "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."