Plenty at stake for both of these Premier League heavyweight’s when Manchester City look to get their title challenge back on track against Arsenal. Pep Guardiola’s team were stunned 2-1 by Newcastle midweek while Arsenal kept their Champions League aspirations alive with a 2-1 win over Cardiff. Form Labs bring you their betting preview and tips for the game and don’t forget to head over to our FanBoosts section and take advantage of our selection of enhanced odds for the game. For New customers then check out our Risk Free Bet available for what could be a title race defining game!
Man City Stunned Midweek
Pep Guardiola’s 100th league game in charge didn’t exactly go to plan and he’ll expect a strong reaction from his side following defeat at Newcastle.
Fast starts haven’t been a problem for the Citizens as they’ve led at the break in each of their last five, even going ahead after just 24 seconds at St James’s Park, while Sergio Aguero had another ruled out shortly after.
In fact, City have opened the scoring in each of their last 13 matches across all competitions, bagging the opener inside half an hour in 12 of these and within 20 minutes in eight.
Just A Bad Day In The Office?
Despite only registering four shots on target at St. James’, with the last of these coming before an hour had been played, productivity has never been an issue for City under Guardiola. Indeed, they netted 30 times in their other seven fixtures across January, so the shocking lack of clear cut chances last time out should very much prove an anomaly.
Indeed, when City and Arsenal met on the opening day of the campaign, Pep’s charges managed 17 shots with eight on target, as they ran out comfortable 2-0 winners.
As a result, they’ve now led at both half-time and full-time in each of their four encounters with the Gunners across all competitions since the start of last season.
Paul Dickov And Kevin Campbell Preview The Game
Arsenal’s First Half Problems
Although Arsenal have improved on their record against ‘Big Six’ sides under Unai Emery, they’ve still trailed at both the break and the final whistle in three of their last four against such teams: Spurs and United in cup action, and especially when they visited Anfield in the league as they were already 4-1 down after the opening 45.
The recent exception came hosting a Chelsea team that clearly have their own problems with Maurizio Sarri essentially starting a war of attrition with his players, and so we’re not entirely convinced that hurdle has been fully overcome under new management.
The Boots Are Off! Kevin Campbell And Paul Dickov
City Far From Imperious
While we expect City to respond positively, they can’t claim to be as imperious this term, dropping more points at this stage compared to the entirety of last season, which is understandable given the records they set, as well as missing the key architect of last years’ title Kevin De Bruyne for so long.
Furthermore, they’ve struggled to find a proper solution for when Benjamin Mendy has been absent, while Gabriel Jesus has largely disappointed in the league as two thirds of his goals have come in the various cup competitions.
However, it’s hardly as though Arsenal are back to former glories and this is clearly a season of transition for them, though they could be an astute pick to bag a second half consolation strike.
City Defensive Lapses
Four of the six goals the Citizens have shipped since Christmas have come within the final half hour as defensive lapses have been an issue once more.
It’s been pointed out in many quarters over the past few months that the strength of Liverpool’s rearguard has proven the key difference that separates the two title rivals, while Guardiola’s outfit have a habit of easing their foot off the gas on occasion with the three points already wrapped up.
In fact, across all tournaments, an astonishing 17 of the 19 goals Man City have conceded hosting ‘Big Six’ opponents under Guardiola have come during the second-half.
What Markets To Look For
We’re not concerned that a late strike could hamper the City win as while Arsenal have hardly been poor going forwards, netting just four goals fewer than Liverpool this term, it’s the defence that’s let them down. Unai Emery can call upon the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in attack, with both amongst the goals recently as they each netted in their most recent fixture.
However, he’s facing horrendous selection problems at the back with all of Rob Holding, Sokratis, Laurent Koscielny, Hector Bellerin unavailable, so City will be kicking themselves if they fail to take advantage.
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