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Manchester City vs Arsenal: Analysis, Predictions, and Bets
Manchester City will be feeling somewhat relieved that Liverpool were only able to extend their lead at the top of the table by 1 further point following an embarrassing loss to Newcastle midweek. With that in mind, Guardiola's team will know that they cannot afford to keep dropping points like that, but they have a big test this weekend at home against Arsenal. Current Form Manchester City Manchester City currently find themselves in 2nd place in the Premier League table on 56 points, 5 points behind leaders Liverpool and now just 2 points ahead of 3rd placed Tottenham. They have put together another good run of form recently but that came crashing back down to Earth with a shock defeat at the hands of struggling Newcastle. In their previous 5 games, Manchester City won 4 and lost 1. Statistically, Manchester City are still looking very impressive this season. They've scored 63 times so far, an average of 2.63 goals per game. They have also been strong at the back having conceded just 19 times, an average of 0.79 goals per game. Arsenal Arsenal are currently in 4th position in the Premier League table on 47 points, ahead of Chelsea on goals scored alone, and 2 points clear of 6th placed Manchester United. Although Emery's team have struggled at times lately, Chelsea are also going through a rough patch and this has given Arsenal a chance to make that final Champions League qualifying place their own. In their previous 5 games, Arsenal won 3 and lost 2. Statistically, Arsenal have had success in the attacking phases of the game but have struggled defensively at times. They've scored 50 times so far, an average of 2.08 goals per game. However, they've also conceded 33 times, an average of 1.38 goals per game. Head to Head In the previous 10 meetings between the clubs, Manchester City won 5, Arsenal won 3, and there were 2 draws. Manchester City have been dominant in this fixture recently, however, and won the previous 4 contests. Analysis Manchester City Manchester City are lucky that they're 5 points behind Liverpool and not 7 following their loss to Newcastle on Tuesday night. That was a game that they should have won with ease and this will be a worry for Guardiola with a few difficult fixtures on the horizon. Of course, these kinds of shock results do happen in football, and Manchester City could put it right by taking all 3 points from this game with Arsenal at the weekend. The positives for Manchester City here are that Arsenal have had a pretty poor defensive record this season so there will be opportunities for Guardiola's team to get in behind them and test the goalkeeper. However, they will need to be careful not to commit too many players forward in attack because Arsenal also have an impressive front duo of Aubameyang and Lacazette who are both good enough to punish any teams if they get the chance. The midfield battle will be key here and Fernandinho will likely be instrumental in keeping things ticking over for Manchester City. If they can find some control in this area of the pitch then they will likely be able to assert themselves on the Arsenal back line and this is where the game can be won if enough pressure is provided by the forwards. The issue, however, is that pressure is now mounting on Manchester City to win every game if they want to become Premier League champions at the end of the season and, with the team still being involved in the Champions League, FA Cup, and League Cup, this could lead to mistakes through physical and mental exhaustion. Arsenal Arsenal have given themselves a good chance of qualifying for the Champions League by taking advantage of Chelsea's recent issues but they'll need to keep taking points from these big games to make sure of it. As Manchester United have the easier game on paper this weekend, Arsenal could easily end up behind them at the end of this round of fixtures and that would be detrimental to player confidence. With that in mind, Arsenal need to be bold here and take the game to Manchester City. Sitting back and absorbing pressure from Manchester City is not a great strategy simply because their forward players are so good that they will almost certainly craft chances throughout the game. Perhaps the best chance for Arsenal to take something from this game is to be aggressive and push up the pitch whenever possible. As noted above, the midfield battle could be key here and if Arsenal are able to get themselves on the ball and maintain periods of possession then they must try to create chances for their front men at every possible opportunity. Aubameyang and Lacazette have enough quality to win this game if they are given the chance but slow passes in front of the defensive line will not be adequate. Instead, Arsenal should look to play at pace and find creative passes to cut through the back line of Manchester City. Predictions Although Manchester City are heavy favourites here, I believe Arsenal have the ability to produce a good performance like they did against Chelsea and get a result. For that reason, I'm going to go with my gut instinct on this one. Prediction: Draw Score Prediction: Manchester City 2 - 2 Arsenal Betting Picks I have placed a couple of bets on this game. Firstly, I have taken a position on the Arsenal to win market. I have also opted to cover myself a little by placing a bet on the Arsenal to Win or Draw market. Bet on this fixture now at BetScorum.com - A super fast commission free betting exchange for sports fans!
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