Thursday, September 23, 2021

Prediction: Manchester City vs Arsenal

Verdict: Manchester City win & Under four goals

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to head into the international break with three points on home soil, Manchester City will welcome Arsenal to the Etihad on Saturday lunchtime.

Manchester City

Starting with the hosts, after watching Leicester lift the Community Shield earlier in the month at Wembley, Manchester City will be hoping that they have put their early-season stutter behind them. Opening up the 2021/22 Premier League campaign with a shock 1-0 loss away at Tottenham on August 15th, Pep Guardiola’s side certainly picked up a real morale boost last weekend. With the defending champions tipped as a landslide pick to collect their first top-flight victory, City breezed their way to a 5-0 romp against Norwich as fans returned to the Etihad. Desperate to head into September’s international break with back-to-back Premier League wins, the former Bayern Munich boss should also be boosted by what is a hugely impressive record against Saturday’s guests. Including a 1-0 victory when they last faced off against the Gunners back in February at the Emirates, City have won 10 of their last 11 meetings against Arsenal.

Team News

In what is a real blow for Manchester City, it appears that midfield talisman Kevin De Bruyne will once again miss out on Saturday lunchtime. Likewise, the Belgian ace will be joined on the sidelines by Phil Foden who is still dealing with an injury issue.

However, England defender John Stones is pushing for a start as he continues to work on his fitness.

Arsenal

As for the visitors, managing to find their own much-needed boost earlier in the week, there is no doubt that Arsenal will be desperate to build off of their EFL Cup display. Making the trip to Championship returners West Brom on Wednesday night, Mikel Arteta’s squad landed a thumping 6-0 romp in the Midlands, a result that was their first victory since opening the 2021/22 campaign. However, while Pep Guardiola’s former right-hand man might have seen his side put in a free-scoring display in midweek, it does not cover what has been a nightmare start to Premier League duties. Including opening their run with a shock 2-0 defeat against top-flight debutants Brentford on August 13th, the Gunners also watched Chelsea pick up London bragging rights last weekend. Hit with another 2-0 defeat and suffering opening back-to-back Premier League defeats for just the third time in their history, Arsenal should face another stern test on Saturday lunchtime.

Team News

Bagging a hat-trick on EFL Cup duties earlier in the week, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should get the nod to make his first Premier League start of the season.

However, while Alexandre Lacazette could also feature at some point, summer arrival Ben White is expected to once again miss out on Saturday.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides faced off back in February, Manchester City picked up a 1-0 victory at the Emirates.
    • In fact, the defending Premier League champions have won 10 of their last 11 matchups against Arsenal.
    • Suffering back-to-back 2-0 losses against Brentford and Chelsea, Arsenal have lost their opening two top-flight contests for just the third time in their history.
    • Arsenal have lost each of their last five straight trips to the Etihad by a scoreline of 12-3.
    • Continuing on from last season, each of Manchester City’s last five Premier League home fixtures have seen 23 goals.

    Conclusion

    While Arsenal might have managed to pick up that thumping 6-0 win away at West Brom on EFL Cup duties in midweek, the Gunners will know they face a stern step up in class on Saturday. Suffering back-to-back Premier League defeats when opening a new season for just the third time in their history, Manchester City should be looking to lay down a marker here. Opening their account with what was a routine 5-0 romp against Norwich last weekend, the defending champions should also be boosted a what is a rampant record against Arsenal. Winning each of the last five meetings between the two sides by an aggregate score of 12-3, we’re backing a similar home win here.

    Verdict: Manchester City win & Under four goals

    Best Odds: 11/10

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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