Saturday, November 18, 2017

Prediction: Arsenal vs Manchester City

Ashley Randall in FA Cup, Free Soccer Predictions 21 Apr 2017

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Verdict: Manchester City

Best Odds: 17/20

Bookmakers: Bet 365

The FA Cup semi-finals take centre stage this weekend as Premier League heavyweights Arsenal and Manchester City face each other at Wembley. With both teams suffering from a disappointing campaign, a defeat so late in the competition would be a disaster for their only hopes of silverware this season.

Arsenal

Manager Arsene Wenger is currently enduring one of his worst seasons in charge at Arsenal. Along with mounting pressure from the supporters surrounding his future, the Gunners are seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, albeit with a game in hand, meaning the match on Sunday will take on further significance. Defeat against the Citizens will be a huge psychological blow for Arsenal, and not only could they be saying goodbye to their FA Cup dreams, but their top-four ambitions too. The Gunners 2-1 victory against Middlesbrough in midweek was only their third win in nine Premier League games and defensively they have looked particularly vulnerable. Wenger opted to play three at the back against Boro, but his side didn’t look fully comfortable and a decision to stick to the same formation could prove costly, especially considering City’s attacking prowess. Arsenal have lost just once in their last eight meetings against the Mancunian side but will need star players Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to be firing on all cylinders if they are to ease the pressure slightly on Wenger’s worrying future with a victory.

Team News

Arsenal will have to face City without injured Shkodran Mustafi, Danny Welbeck, Lucas Perez, David Ospina and Santi Cazorla.

Theo Walcott and Hector Bellarin will be hoping for recalls.

Manchester City

Similarly to their opponents, Manchester City will feel disappointed with how their campaign has panned out so far, and will be directing all their attention to the semi-final on Sunday. Pep Guardiola’s team were tipped as pre-season title contenders but their early ambitions haven’t quite lived up to expectations. However, if the Citizens manage to win the FA Cup and also secure Champions League football for next year, then Guardiola may be able to argue his first campaign in charge of the club has, in fact, been successful. City seem to have recovered from their 2-1 Premier League loss away at Chelsea two weeks ago, and have since recorded comprehensive wins over Southampton and Hull City, scoring six goals and only conceding one in the process. Vincent Kompany’s return to action has been the main reason for this defensive solidarity, and with Gabriel Jesus rumoured to play some part in the match on Sunday, it could be a difficult afternoon for the Gunners.

Team News

City will be without Jones Stones after failing to recover from a muscle injury that ruled him out of last week’s visit to Southampton.

Gabriel Jesus could return after two months out with a broken foot.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Manchester City have progressed from each of their last eight FA Cup semi-finals. Their last defeat at this stage was against Arsenal in 1932
  • Three of the last six meetings between the two sides have finished 2-2
  • The Gunners have lost seven times in their last 13 games
  • City have had eight different goalscorers in the competition, more than any other team
  • Arsenal have won the trophy 12 times, a joint-record along with Manchester United

Conclusion

This should be a very entertaining game as both sides desperately want to win the FA Cup due to their disappointing campaigns. Manchester City look to have the edge over Arsenal and are in a better run of form. If the Citizens do manage to reach the final, we expect them hold a psychological advantage over the Gunners and to also finish in the top four.

Verdict: Manchester City

Best Odds: 17/20

Bookmakers: Bet 365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ashley Randall


Ash is a freelance football writer who lives, breathes and dreams the beautiful game. A lifelong Wolverhampton Wanderers season ticket holder, if he isn't at Molineux then he will be watching any game on television that he can set his eyes on. Producing work for various football websites and publications, Ash has also written for regional newspapers and global magazines.

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