Arsenal host Man City at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday in the English Premier League. The Gunners have played a match less and sit top of the standings but a loss here would see them drop into the second spot. City have amazingly won each of their last ten Premier League matches against Arsenal and are slowly starting to look more like themselves again.
It’s been an incredible season so far for Mikel Arteta’s team. They were on a run of 11 wins and two draws across 13 league fixtures. After a slip at home to Newcastle (0-0), they quickly put that behind them with a 2-0 victory at Tottenham and then 3-2 at home to Manchester United with 25 shots and 3.25 xG created.
Since then, it’s three matches in all competitions without a win. They lost 1-0 at Man City in the FA Cup after resting six of their best XI. They only put up 0.35 xG in that defeat. They were then beaten 1-0 at relegation-threatened Everton as 70% possession yielded a paltry 0.91 xG. They could only draw 1-1 last time out with a solid Brentford side. The Bees’ equaliser was via a VAR error though, costing the Gunners two points.
Arsenal Team News
The team news for Arsenal remains the same as in recent weeks. Gabriel Jesus is injured, leaving Eddie Nketiah to start every match up front. Emile Smith Rowe returned from injury but had a setback and won’t be available. Squad players Mohamed Elneny and Reiss Nelson are both out.
Arteta has to decide whether or not to freshen up his XI as a few players look jaded. Leandro Trossard scored in the last match and is the most likely to be handed a start. Takehiro Tomiyasu, Jorginho, and Fabio Vieira are closest to being included but will most likely have to make do with sub-outings.
This is an absolutely huge match for Arsenal. A defeat would see them lose top spot. They are currently three points above Man City so a draw in this one would be a decent result considering their awful record against Guardiola’s side.
They’ll look to play on the front foot and could use a man-marking system as they attempted in the FA Cup defeat to City.
Man City Form
City have had a slightly strange season. After losing to Brentford at home before the World Cup, they also dropped points at home to Everton (1-1 draw) and then lost at Man Utd in controversial circumstances. That latter defeat came on the back of a 2-0 defeat to bottom-placed Southampton in the Carabao Cup and things looked far from rosy.
They have since responded with four wins in their last five. They came from 2-0 down at home to beat Spurs 4-2 and an Erling Haaland hattrick sealed a 3-0 home victory over Wolves. They then beat a heavily-rotated Arsenal side 1-0 in the FA Cup before their annual defeat away at Tottenham, 1-0. This past weekend saw a fine first-half display to lead 3-0 before ending up with a 3-1 home victory over Aston Villa.
Man City Team News
Phil Foden is back from illness but is set for a place on the bench as Jack Grealish has been impressing of late. John Stones is injured so it could mean another start for Ruben Dias. Erling Haaland was taken off at half-time vs Villa but that seemed more of a precaution. He is 70% likely to start, otherwise, Julian Alvarez would deputise.
The question mark is whether Nathan Ake returns to the XI at left back to form a more traditional back four, or whether it’s Bernardo Silva in his left back/deep-lying midfielder role from the last match.
Man City Motivation
City seems to have had their focus and motivation heightened by the litany of charges brought against the club for financial irregularities. They know a victory takes them to the league summit even if they will have played one match more.
Guardiola’s side will look to win an 11th successive league match vs Arsenal by taking the game to them whilst keeping a close eye on defending transition moments.
Arsenal have won 11 of their last 15 PL matches (D3, L1)
Arsenal have won 11 of their last 13 home PL matches (36 goals scored)
Man City have lost their last 3 away matches (all competitions)
8 of City’s last 9 away matches in all comps have only seen them score 1 or fewer goals
Man City have won 10 straight EPL matches vs Arsenal
This match is hard to call. City’s record vs the Gunners is exceptional and they’re well capable of taking three points and regaining first place in the league table. Arsenal are stuttering a bit and may be satisfied with a point.
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at 1.80
Value Bet: Man City win at 2.40
Multiplier Leg: Man City win/draw double chance + over 1.5 goals at 1.83