Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
While Manchester City’s difficulties this year have probably been more widely documented, their opponents here would be absolutely thrilled to be in their current position.
Yes, Arsenal are not having the easiest of seasons. In fact, their recent win over West Ham has been their only gasp of air following months of drowning in a sea of stalemates and losses. Their last Premier League victory before the admittedly impressive 3-1 encounter with West Ham was against Bournemouth back in October: an absolute age ago in the world of football.
Still, it is understandable that City’s woes have made more headlines after how dominant they were last season. Seeing the title slip further and further from their grasp just makes for a more dramatic story. With that said, it’s important to remember that they remain one of the best teams in the world, capable of beating anyone on the right night. Arsenal had better hope this isn’t one of them.
Arsenal vs Manchester City Prediction: Arsenal 1-3 Man City
We don’t want to write Arsenal out here. Their match against West Ham did show significant improvements, and Manchester City have been known to underestimate teams and drop the ball, no pun intended. So, an upset win is possible. However, we think that Manchester City have been burned too many times to do anything other than bring their best at every possible occasion. And when they fire on all cylinders, few are capable of stopping them. We just don’t think the Gunners have the firepower. With that in mind, our scoreline prediction is 3-1 to Manchester City.
Our recommended tip: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores first
While we think that Arsenal won’t have enough to beat Manchester City here, we do think that they’ll be able to draw first blood. Manchester City have had a tendency to come from behind as of late, and have rarely won a game in recent months with a clean sheet. The last time they did so in any tournament was against Aston Villa in October. Considering this, and that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been Arsenal’s most successful goalscorer this season, there’s a good chance of him scoring first. You’ll find competitive 7/1 odds at 888Sport on this prediction.
While these two sides have previously been neck-and-neck in the stats – more recently than you would imagine, as Arsenal had an impressive season in 2014/15 – the last few years have been less kind to the Gunners in this fixture. Manchester City’s run of dominance here really began with a 3-1 win in 2017, and they’ve won four matches since in a convincing fashion. In fact, they have won by a minimum of two goals in the last five games. This is a huge historical advantage to a team that already comes into this match as favourites.
Top 3 Premier League Bookies
Players to watch: Gabriel Martinelli & Gabriel Jesus
Arsenal: Gabriel Martinelli
If Arsenal want to truly move forward and get out of this slump – not just in the short-term but to lay a foundation from which the greatness of their club can be rebuilt – they can only do so by investing in young players. It’s a tactic that certainly paid off against West Ham. They were rewarded for taking a chance on starting Martinelli for the first time this season, as he paid them back by becoming the youngest ever player to score for the club during a Premier League start. Can he prove himself worth the investment once again here?
Manchester City: Gabriel Jesus
Unlike our last pick, this Gabriel doesn’t need to prove anything in terms of his goal-scoring prowess. Magnificent in the Premier League and beyond, his hat-trick against D.Zagreb in the Champions League was nothing short of inspired. Gabriel Jesus is the embodiment of the type of quality Manchester City bring to the table.