Saturday, January 25, 2020

Prediction: Arsenal vs Manchester City

Prediction: Both Teams to Score and Manchester City to Win

Odds: 11/8

Bookmaker: 888Sport

Caretaker Arsenal boss Freddie Ljungberg will be aiming to earn another morale-boosting Premier League win on Sunday as the Gunners take on Manchester City.

The North-Londoners are still struggling in league action and are some way off of the top-four. However, a win against the Citizens could be a statement. Meanwhile, City boss Pep Guardiola will be keen for the three points as his side’s title defence continues to falter.

Arsenal

It was a brilliant day for Ljungberg last time out in the Premier League as he earned his first win as manager in the form of a 3-1 success against London rivals West Ham United. Since then, the Swede has also seen a youthful Gunners side battle back from two goals behind to claim a draw in their final UEFA Europe League group game against Standard Liege. The three points against the Hammers last week ended a run of seven matches without a league victory. Remarkably, the Gunners now have the opportunity to make it consecutive Premier League wins for only the second time this season. That task looks even more difficult though considering that Arsenal have not beaten any of the current top four in almost a year since a 2-0 win against Chelsea way back in January. Another aspect that could see them struggle is their defensive record. The Londoners have only managed to keep two clean sheets in the Premier League this season – no side in the top-flight has managed to keep fewer. Going up against a Manchester City side blessed with some of the most exciting attacking talents in world football, that poor run is likely to continue.

Team News

Summer signing Kieran Tierney was dealt another significant injury blow last week having suffered a dislocated elbow against West Ham. The Scottish defender is set to be out for at least three months. He joins fellow defenders Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding on the sidelines. Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos have been ruled out for the match with concussion and a thigh injury. In slightly better news however, Nicolas Pepe has not suffered any lasting damage from a knock picked up against West Ham and is available for selection.

Manchester City

At the time of writing, the reigning Premier League champions are a huge 17 points behind leaders Liverpool. It would be fair to say then that the margin for error is miniscule. Another loss would all but end their title defence and considering that Manchester United could potentially be only five points behind come the end of the weekend, the Citizens could in fact be in a fight to get in the top-four. On the topic of the Red Devils, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men handed the Citizens another blow in their pursuit of a third consecutive Premier League crown with a 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium last time out. That loss was the latest in a tricky run of fixtures for Guardiola’s troops having only won two out of their last five league matches. They have also not won back-to-back league games since early November. Considering that they have a tough run of fixtures against Leicester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sheffield United to come during the festive period, a win against Arsenal would be paramount.

Team News

City’s woes in defence have continued, with John Stones having been ruled out for a few weeks with a thigh injury. The former Everton man joins Aymeric Laporte on the sidelines. Elsewhere, Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane are also both out. Midfielder David Silva is also set to be subjected to a late fitness test due to a knock but Ederson should be okay to play despite being ill over the past few days.

Key Facts To Consider

  • Arsenal have the far better head-to-head record between the two sides (W96, D45, L55)
  • Manchester City have won the last five consecutive games between the two teams
  • The Citizens won the last game 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium
  • City have not conceded a single goal in any of their last three trips to the Emirates Stadium
  • The Gunners have not kept a clean sheet against Manchester City since January 2015

Conclusion

The match itself should be an intriguing watch. On paper, it should be a tough assignment for Arsenal. However, Manchester City do have injuries and are not really on top form at the moment so it would not be a shock to see the Gunners make a game of it. At the Emirates, they are always likely to get on the scoresheet. City should still win though.

Prediction: Both Teams to Score and Manchester City to Win

Odds: 11/8

Bookmaker: 888Sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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