A Top of the Table Clash on Super Sunday as City host Arsenal
Last updated: December 15, 2016 by Leon Marshal
|Coverage:||Sky Sports 1|
|Last season:||Man City 2 – 2 Arsenal|
|Competition:||The Premier League|
Super Sunday throws up an absolute cracker on Sunday as Arsenal head north to face Manchester City. Just one point separates the two teams in 3rd and 4th position and neither will want to lose ground on league leaders Chelsea, whose lead is now six points. It’s not just the teams’ league positions that are almost identical. Looking at the stats, both teams have registered the same number of both teams to score, over 2.5 goals and under 2.5 goals matches. There’s a difference of just one in how many times they’ve failed to score and clean sheets registered too. Will there be something to separate them in this match?
City would usually look to Sergio Agüero for the magic touch, but the Argentinian is still suspended. Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva will be the creative forces, while it remains to be seen whether Pep will opt for Iheanacho or Nolito in the lone striker role. City will go into the match fairly confident. A win and a clean sheet against Watford midweek meant that the Citizens avoided a third successive league loss. It was also the club’s first win at home in almost three months. The loss of Ilkay Gündogan is a blow, but City have the depth to provide cover. Defensive failures have been the main problem so far this term, but City finally put in a resolute display, although this fixture will be a much tougher test of whether that resolve can remain.
Arsenal fell to just their second league defeat of the season against Everton in midweek. It initially looked to be more of the same after Alexis Sánchez scored his 12th goal of the season, but the Gunners eventually succumbed to a late Everton winner. Arsenal too have been anything but solid at the back this season and that fraility was exposed by Everton, who scored twice to take all three points. Arsenal are now without a clean sheet in seven and without Mustafi, improving on this tally is made all the more tougher. The form and goals of Alexis Sánchez and Mesut Özil will be key then if Arsenal want to emerge as victors.
Ilkay Gündogan picked up a knee injury in the midweek victory against Watford. It’s unclear how long the midfielder will be out for.
Sergio Agüero is still suspended and will miss out. Guardiola opted to play Nolito in a lone striker role midweek, but Iheanacho will be contending for this position.
Arsenal will be without German defender Shkodran Mustafi throughout January. Gabriel replced him in midweek and is expected to hold his place.
The Arsenal lineup should remain largely unchanged, although there may be rotation among Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain, as Alex Iwobi pushes for inclusion.
|Man City (4-1-4-1):||Bravo, Zabaleta, Otamendi, Kolarov, Clichy, Y Touré, Fernando, Sterling, De Bruyne, Silva, Nolito|
|Subs:||Sagna, Garcia, Caballero, Jesús Navas, Sané, Stones, Iheanacho|
|Not available:||Fernandinho, Agüero|
|Arsenal (4-2-3-1):||Cech, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Xhaka, Walcott, Özil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sánchez|
|Subs:||Gibbs, Pérez, Giroud, Ospina, Holding, Iwobi, Elneny|
|Injured:||Mustafi, Debuchy, Mertescker, Cazorla, Ramsey, Welbeck, Sanogo, Akpom|
So far this season
|Man City this season||Arsenal this season|
|4 (6)||(at home) Wins (away)||5 (5)|
|4-0 vs. West Brom||Biggest win||5-1 vs. West Ham|
|3 (0)||(at home) Draws (away)||2 (2)|
|2-4 vs. Leicester||Biggest Defeat||3-4 vs. Liverpool||Sergio Agüero (10)||Top scorer||Alexis Sánchez (12)|
|De Bruyne (8)||Assist Leader||Alexis Sánchez (5)|
|Y31, R3||Discipline||Y24, R1|
|1||Failures to score||2|
|12||Both Teams to Score Games||12|
|11||Over 2.5 Games||11|
|5||Under 2.5 Games||5|
- City finally won at home this week for the first victory at the Eithad since week ten of the season. Their home form has been poor then, although they have lost just one home match, recording three draws.
- Alexis Sánchez is the league’s top scorer and has scored eight goals in the last seven league games. Against an underperforming City defence, it’s likely he’ll be in the goals again this Sunday.
- Agüero’s absence hasn’t stopped the Citizens scoring. There’s still plenty of goals in any City lineup and against an Arsenal defence that is neither in form nor at full strength, we expect at least one goal from City.
- Arsenal have exactly the same number of wins, draws and losses away from home as at home. This suggests that their form is strong wherever they play and they shouldn’t be fazed by this occasion.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|08/05/2016||Premier League||Manchester City 2 – 2 Arsenal||Walcott 33′|
|21/12/2015||Premier League||Arsenal 2 – 1 Manchester City||Agüero 8′|
|18/01/2015||Premier League||Manchester City 0 – 2 Arsenal||Cazorla 24′|
|13/09/2014||Premier League||Arsenal 2 – 2 Manchester City||Agüero 28′|
|10/08/2014||Community Shield||Arsenal 3 – 0 Manchester City||Cazorla 21′|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
This is a thrilling match up that really could go either way. City have home advantage but are without their biggest goal threat in Agüero. Arsenal demonstrated the sort of weak mentality that has plagued them in recent years last week, as they let slip a lead away from home. This could play on the minds of the Arsenal players and could have some influence on the result.
There’s almost nothing to separate the teams in the standings and we feel this will spill over into the match result. Arsenal have drawn their last four matches against top opposition away from home and we feel they will be strong enough to at least get a draw here. You can get the draw at around 5/2 at Ladbrokes. If you want to go for a safer bet but with much lower odds, we feel both teams to score should comfortably come in, at around 8/15.