Saturday, March 25, 2017

Prediction: Manchester City vs Arsenal

Verdict: Arsenal not to lose

Best Odds: 5/9

Bookmaker: bet365

After missing out on the Champions League final, Manchester City need to quickly shift their focus back to the Premier League and ensure they secure another top 4 finish. Arsenal, on the other hand, target an automatic Champions League berth, and a win at Etihad will help the Gunners clinch a top 3 position.

Manchester City

Manchester City ultimately failed to book their place for the Champions League final, but the Citizens can be proud of reaching the semis after several unsuccessful attempts to get past the group phase or the first knockout stage. The Citizens were pretty disappointing in the return leg against Real Madrid, showing the lack of desire to change the course of the game, and they will have to show improvement if they want to avoid missing out on a top 4 position. Man City may be four points clear of Manchester United at the moment, but the Red Devils have a game in hand, meaning they could leapfrog the local rivals if they fail to defeat Arsenal. The Citizens have now lost two games in a row, while captain Vincent Kompany suffered a fresh injury setback, and things are not looking god ahead of the all-important clash against the Gunners. When we also know that Man City have failed to win in last five meetings with Arsene Wenger’s side, there does not appear to be a great deal of value in backing Manuel Pellegrini’s charges to emerge victorious.

Team News

Vincent Kompany is almost certain to miss out after suffering an injury at Santiago Bernabeu, with Eliaquim Mangala set to deputise.

David Silva continues to miss out through a hamstring injury, but Kelechi Iheanacho and Raheem Sterling are pushing for starting positions.

Arsenal

This will go down as yet another disappointing season for Arsenal, but at least the Gunners have all but secured Champions League football for the 2016/2017 campaign. If they want to avoid the qualifying rounds, Arsene Wenger’s charges will have to hold off challenge from Manchester City, and while they are in a good position at the moment, a defeat at Etihad Stadium would see them slip to fourth ahead of the final round of fixtures. The good news is that Arsenal are in slightly better form than the opposition, seeing as they are unbeaten in last seven, keeping no fewer than five clean sheets in the process. And while they have struggled somewhat up front, the Gunners will have a very good chance of recording a positive result if their back line continues the rich vein of form. Arsenal will have to make do without Per Mertesacker in the final two fixtures, but Gabriel Paulista can be trusted to get the job done, especially since Man City strikers are enjoying a bit of a dry spell at the moment. And with Arsenal doing well in past meetings against the Citizens, the trend looks set to continue.

Team News

Arsene Wenger has moved to confirm that Per Mertesacker will not be playing again this season, but there are no other worries for the manager.

Danny Welbeck should return to the starting line-up after scoring the winner against Norwich, while Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla will be hoping to play a part as well.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Arsenal are unbeaten in last five matches vs Man City (W3 D2)
  • The Gunners recorded 2-1 win in the reverse fixture
  • Arsenal kept five clean sheets in last seven
  • Man City are winless in last three matches (D1 L2)
  • The Citizens lost three of last six home games in the league

Conclusion

It will not be easy for Man City to recover from the Champions League heartbreak and with the team going through a very rough patch at the moment, we doubt they can win this clash. Arsenal, on the other hand, have shown some improvement, especially at the back and we are backing them not to lose at Etihad.

Verdict: Arsenal not to lose

Best Odds: 5/9

Bookmaker: bet365

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