Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Prediction: Arsenal vs Manchester City

Verdict: Manchester City win & over 1.5 goals

Best Odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: Unibet

Two sides who are looking to open 2022 with a statement in north London, Arsenal will host defending champions Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime.

Arsenal

Starting with the hosts, although Arsenal might have opened the 2021/22 campaign in the midst of a very public nightmare, the Gunners have certainly put those issues behind them. With the mood in their camp at a red-hot high, Mikel Arteta’s men were last seen landing a thumping 5-0 romp away at leading relegation scrappers Norwich. Handed an extra few days off since Boxing Day, the north London outfit have now won each of their last five matchups across all formats. Skyrocketing their way back into the top-four and with their sights firmly set on securing a European return this season, Saturday’s hosts have also continued to shine with their displays in the final third. Booking their spot in the semi-finals of this year’s EFL Cup thanks to a 5-1 victory against League One side Sunderland on December 21st, Arsenal have remarkably bagged 19 goals on their five-match winning run. While the Gunners might be seen as a real underdog here, some in their camp might be smelling an upset in the capital.

Team News

After returning a positive COVID-19 test earlier in the week, Arsenal have confirmed that Arteta will not be in the Emirates dugout on New Year’s Day.

Likewise, the quartet of Calum Chambers, Cedric Soares, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are also once again expected to miss out.

Manchester City

As for the visitors, while Manchester City might not have been at their best earlier in the week, the Sky Blues did manage to extend on what has been their own stellar purple patch. Eventually landing a 1-0 win away at Premier League debutants Brentford on Wednesday night, Pep Guardiola’s men have certainly pounced on the slip-ups around them. With both Liverpool and Chelsea dropping points in midweek, the former Barcelona boss sees his side make the trip to the Emirates holding a commanding eight-point buffer over the chasing pack. Only continuing to gain a host of plaudits, City have in fact won each of their last 10 Premier League matchups on the spin. Now tipped as what is a standout pick to defend their domestic crown this season, Guardiola’s side will also be boosted by a rampant record against Saturday’s opponents. Including a 5-0 romp when the two sides faced off back in August, the Sky Blues have won each of their last four meetings against Arsenal.

Team News

All missing out against Brentford earlier in the week, Manchester City are still sweating over the fitness of Rodri, John Stones and Kyle Walker on New Year’s Day.

Bagging the winner against Brentford a few days ago, England international Phil Foden should retain his spot in Guardiola’s starting XI.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides faced off at the Etihad back in August, Manchester City picked up a 5-0 romp.
    • Likewise, the defending Premier League champions have won each of their previous four meetings against Arsenal by an aggregate score of 11-1.
    • However, the Gunners have won each of their last five matchups across all formats.
    • The Sky Blues have also won each of their previous 10 Premier League contests.
    • Manchester City have lost just one of their last 15 meetings against Arsenal, a run that stems back to 2016.

    Conclusion

    While Arsenal might have once again impressed away at a rock-bottom Norwich last time out, there is no doubt that the Gunners will know that they face a stern test here. Coming up against a Manchester City side who are enjoying what has been a remarkable nine-match Premier League winning run, the Sky Blues will be looking to lay down another marker on Saturday lunchtime. Breezing their way to a commanding eight-point buffer at the top of the table, Guardiola’s men will also be boosted by a rampant record against their New Year’s Day opponents. Landing a 5-0 romp when they welcomed Arsenal to the Etihad back in August, we’re backing a similar away victory for the defending champions here.

    Verdict: Manchester City win & over 1.5 goals

    Best Odds: 8/11

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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