A second straight match without a win - a 2-2 draw at home to Swansea on Tuesday, has left the Gunners six points back and Arsene Wenger admitting that finishing in the top four is now their priority.
With next weekend's opponents Everton only six points behind them, having played a game fewer, Arsenal now have a fight on their hands to secure Champions League qualification.
Wenger may restore Lukas Podolski to the XI after the German scored and assisted as a substitute against Swansea. With Mathieu Flamini likely to start to give greater protection to Arsenal's defence, which has conceded 17 goals in five games against the top three, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may be sacrificed.
Manuel Pellegrini has no new injury worries ahead of their trip to North London, where they put five past Tottenham Hotspur earlier in the season, but Sergio Aguero is still nursing a hamstring strain.
Edin Dzeko is expected to start in attack after scoring twice in the derby, with the City manager's only possible selection dilemma be between former Gunner Gael Clichy and Aleksander Kolarov at left-back.
Possible starting lineups
Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Flamini; Rosicky, Cazorla, Podolski; Giroud
City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy; Fernandinho, Toure; Navas, Silva, Nasri; Dzeko
Sports Mole says: 0-2