Do they get any bigger than this? There certainly aren’t many matchups this season with the same classic potential as when these two Premier League giants go head-to-head. The away team may be all but out of the running for the league title, while City are clinging onto their hopes of surpassing Liverpool following a devastating recent loss to Newcastle United. However, these are two sides which should never be underestimated in terms of ability.
Arsenal for instance, may be vast underdogs in the eyes of the bookmakers here, but consider their recent victory over Chelsea and wonder if they aren’t being written off too soon. Plus, if Man City come into this with a dismissive attitude, we could see yet another shock upset.
Manchester City vs Arsenal Prediction: Man City 1-0 Arsenal
While Man City’s recent losses against Newcastle, Leicester and Crystal Palace may have showcased their weaknesses, they will also make it unlikely for them to take any opponent lightly. On top of that, there’s also the pressure of a season running out and a rival that looks poised to capture their title.
Due to these circumstances, there’s an excellent chance we’ll see Man City bring their absolute A game here. And when that happens, there are few teams in the world that can stop them. We do think it will be a close match but ultimately, we predict City will be able to keep Arsenal down with a 1-0 scoreline to finish things off.
Our recommended tip: Man City win to nil
The defending champions are the clear favourites in this competition, coming into this contest with a 73% win probability to Arsenal’s 11%. Their opponents may be in a respectable fourth place in the Premier League standings, but Man City still pull ahead with nine points, despite their recent shock loss to Newcastle. Paddy Power are giving them match odds of 1/4 compared to 15/2 for an Arsenal win. However, to back the favourites and increase your potential ROI, we recommend that you predict the home team will overcome recent disappointment and win to nil in order to get 13/8 odds.
Man City may hold the clear advantage in the bookmakers’ predictions today but there was a time when they struggled to keep up with the Gunners. In fact, overall, Arsenal have nearly double the winning percentage in their head-to-head contests, which comes close to 200 meetings.
The tide has turned very gradually over that period. Arsenal’s dominance switched to a more back-and-forth affair a little into the new nillennium, before finally moving in City’s favour, with the team winning their last four encounters. Another victory here may finally prove that things have changed for the foreseeable future.
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Players to watch: Gabriel Jesus & Alexandre Lacazette
Manchester City: Gabriel Jesus
It can be tough to pick just one player to watch out of an all-star team like Manchester City, but one we’re really looking forward to seeing more of is Gabriel Jesus. There certainly were skeptics when he was put out over Sergio Agüero against Wolves, all of whom were silenced by half-time. He’s continued to impress since, and a show-stealing performance here would further solidify his place as one of City’s deadliest weapons.
Arsenal: Alexandre Lacazette
When it comes to going up against a team of the calbre of Manchester City, it’s a time for the big guns – no pun intended – to show what they are made of. On that basis, there were a couple of players we could have picked, with top goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being an obvious choice. However, we’ve decided to go with the also prolific Alexandre Lacazette off the back of his terrific performance against Cardiff, in the hopes we’ll see him continue that level of quality here.