Can Arsenal Stop City’s Incredible Winning Run?
Last updated: February 17, 2021 by Leon Marshal
|Last Meeting:||Arsenal 0 – 2 Man City|
The apprentice welcomes the visit of the master as Manchester City travel to Arsenal in the Premier League. League leaders City are in great form, winning their last eleven games in a row. Arsenal has won three of their last six. Will it be Arteta or Guardiola celebrating Sunday night?
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang marked his return to top form, bagging his first Premier League hat trick in a convincing 4 – 2 win against Leeds United. The game against Leeds was their captain’s first start for almost a month after the player travelled to France to care for his ailing mother. It’s fair to say Arsenal missed him, they were knocked out of the FA Cup and collected just four points in the league in four games.
Against Leeds, Arsenal started with creative players in Emile Smith Rowe, Bakayo Saka, and Martin Odegaard to supply their goal-scoring machine. The trio’s movement, eye for a pass, energy and creativity was a breath of fresh air for Arsenal fans, especially after recent disappointments against Aston Villa (1-0) and Wolves (2-1).
The 4-2 scoreline is just the second time this season that Arsenal has scored four, they beat Wolves 4-0 at the beginning of January. Before the two recent defeats against Aston Villa & Wolves, they had been on a seven-match unbeaten run which included a fine 3-1 over local rivals, Chelsea and a comfortable 3-0 win over Newcastle.
Despite a couple of recent defeats, Arsenal defensively has improved and has had eight clean sheets so far this season in the league. In their unbeaten run, they went four games without conceding a goal. They are likely to be tested against a City side full of goals, and the fixtures don’t get any easier for the Gunners, after City they face Leicester City, Tottenham, and Liverpool in the next five games.
A big boost for the side could be the return to the side of Thomas Partey. The 27-year-old brings a physical presence to the Arsenal midfield and could return after a thigh injury. Partey has performed well against ‘big-six’ opposition, the man-of-the-match in Arsenal’s 1-0 at Old Trafford in November and performed well in the 0-0 against Manchester United at the end of January. Alongside Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who both have eight goals, another player to watch out for is Bukayo Saka. When employed as an attacking midfielder on the right, the 21-year-old has four goals and two assists in nine starts.
Going into this match, The Gunners are now tenth, six points off the top four, hoping to break into the exclusive club after a three-year absence. Their record is not great against City though, having lost the last five games in the league, scoring just once in the process. They did beat City in the FA Cup’s semi-final last season before winning the cup with victory in the final over Chelsea.
Man City’s perfection without the club’s record goalscorer Sergio Aguero and their best player Kevin De Bruyne shows how established the team is under Pep Guardiola. The two are set to return for this fixture, and that fact alone should worry the rest of the Premier League. Currently seven points clear at the top, and with a game in hand, they are odds on to win a third title in four years.
While Aguero and De Bruyne have been out of the squad, İlkay Gündoğan has deputised brilliantly. The 30-year-old has eleven league goals this season, surpassing his previous season-high tally of six in the 2018/19 campaign. Since the turn of the year, his nine goals in nine games make him the best player in Europe’s top leagues. He knows how to score against good opposition, scoring braces against Tottenham & Liverpool. Gündoğan limped off in the win against Tottenham and will miss tonight’s game against Everton, but should return for this game.
Since their last defeat 2 – 0 against Tottenham in November, Pep Guardiola has collected forty-one points out of the possible forty-five. Only dropping points in their draws against Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion. Their run of sixteen consecutive wins in this hectic schedule is a masterpiece of good depth and an elaborate football culture that any player on the side can fit into their system. They have not trailed for a single minute in this run keeping fourteen clean sheets in the first twenty-three games.
One area City could improve on is their penalty taking. Gündoğan missed a first-half penalty against Liverpool, becoming the third City to miss from the spot. Rodrigo did score from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute in the 3-0 win against Tottenham, but it was one of the most unconvincing penalties ever and one that Hugo Lloris should have saved. Of course, Aguero or De Bruyne are excellent penalty takers who will take over these duties if fit to play.
They have won each of the last five league games against Arsenal by two goals or more, so will be confident going into this clash. City has a tough run of fixtures, after Arsenal, they face West Ham before welcoming neighbours United to the Etihad.
Aubameyang scored his first Premier League hat trick in the Premier League over the weekend.
Kieran Tierney is back fit and would be a big boast back in the starting line-up, Thomas Partey could also return for this game.
Aguero and De Bruyne could return for this game, but both may have to start on the bench.
İlkay Gündoğan is the best player in Europe since the turn of the year in the top five leagues with nine goals and two assists in nine games.
|Arsenal (4-3-2-1):||Leno, Bellerini, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney, Thomas, Xhaka, Smith-Rowe, Odegaard, Saka, Aubameyang|
|Subs:||Runarsson, Maitland-Miles, Holding, Mari, Elneny, Willock, Nketiah, Martinelli, Chambers, Lacazette, Pepe|
|Man City (3-2-4-1):||Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodri, Gundogan, Fernandinho, Torres, Sterling, Jesus|
|Subs:||Steffen, Stones, Zinchenko, B. Silva, Foden, Garcia, Mendy, Barnaba, Mahrez, Aguero, De Bruyne|
So Far This Season
|Arsenal This Season||Manchester City This Season|
|10 (5)||Wins (away)||16 (7)|
|4 – 0 v West Brom||Biggest Win||5 – 0 v Burnley|
|7 (1)||Draws (away)||5 (3)|
|0 – 3 v Aston Villa||Biggest Defeat||2 – 5 v Leicester City|
|Lacazette (8)||Top Goal Scorer||Gundogan (11)|
|Y36, R5||Discipline||Y25, R0|
|4||Failures to Score||2|
|42%||Both Teams to Score Games||35%|
|54%||Over 2.5 Goals||35%|
|46%||Under 2.5 Goals||65%|
- Arsenal and Man City have played forty-seven professional games, The Gunners have twenty-three wins against City’s fourteen wins, and ten draws between them.
- Aubameyang scored a hat trick in the previous game while Gundogan has scored four goals in the last two games, the two will be ones to consider for the ‘to score at any time’ market.
- Man City has won the last five consecutive Premier League games against Arsenal including the last four by two goals or more.
- Pep Guardiola’s side is on a ruthless won of sixteen consecutive wins with the last two coming against top-six opposition Liverpool 4 – 1 and Spurs 3 – 0.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|22/12/2020||EFL Cup||Arsenal 1 – 4 Man City||Jesus 3’|
|17/10/2020||EPL||Man City 1 – 0 Arsenal||Sterling 23’|
|18/07/2020||FA Cup||Arsenal 2 – 0 Man City||Aubameyang 19’|
|17/06/2020||EPL||Man City 3 – 0 Arsenal||Sterling 45’|
|15/12/2019||EPL||Arsenal 0 – 3 Man City||Sterling 15’|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
There is little doubt that the return of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang to the Arsenal squad adds quality and goal-scoring threat. In his first start since January, he produced a vintage display in the 4-2 win, taking home the match ball after scoring three goals. Arsenal needs a good performance from their captain if they have any chance of anything from this game.
City are looking formidable at the moment. Sixteen wins back-to-back in all competitions makes a mockery of the fact that they have been missing two key players in Aguero and De Bruyne, with these two close to a full return, they add strength and depth to an already strong team.
We cannot see past a City win here. Arsenal’s drop in form did correspond with the absence of their captain, but although a good player, the gulf in quality and consistency is too much for one player to bridge. City won the EFL tie 1-4 in December, a repeat of that scoreline is available @ 25/1 with bet365. A more likely 1-3 is available @12/1.