The return of the Premier League sees the return of Mikel Arteta to his old stomping ground as Manchester City host Arsenal in what is primed to be a blockbuster of a game.
The Citizens whose target for this season remains the Champions League, and perhaps the FA cup will be looking to make a statement in this game and perhaps elongate the waiting period of too be Champions Liverpool who have played a game more.
Pep Guardiola’s side head into the game with 57 points and one loss in five games in all competitions having lost two-nil to United in the Manchester derby last time out. They remain on course for a top-two finish and will be looking to accumulate as many points as possible with just ten matches to go.
Arsenal meanwhile are back in action with their last game ending in a one-nil win over West Ham. The Gunners who are still eyeing a top-six finish will be looking to make a statement on their restart and perhaps bring the season to a high end.
A strong win here could take Mikel Arteta’s side to sixth place.
With Kieran Tierney back in the squad, Calum Chambers, Lucas Torreira, and Cedric Soares remain the only injury absentees.
Guardiola meanwhile has a clean bill of health and will be expected to start his most trusted starting eleven.
Head to Head
City have won the last nine meetings between both teams, scoring 20 times in that period. The last time they picked up any points in this tie, both home and away, goes back to 2017 at the Emirates.
Man City last five games in all competition: LWWWW
Arsenal last five games in all competition: WWLWW
With their title defense far from over, City head into this tie with their eye set on collecting as many points as possible to wrap up what has been an underwhelming League campaign.
The league’s top scorers enter as clear favorites having won this tie for six straight times, scoring three times in five out of these six.
Although they lost to bitter rivals Man United in what was their most recent league outing, the “Sky Blues” were on a five game-winning run that saw them score eight times and keep three clean sheets.
Despite this low score in their last five wins, overall, 50% of matches featuring them have featured 4+ goals—a league-high.
Defensively, they conceded 31 times with 16 of those coming after the break. They also do tend to score late goals as they lead the chart for goals scored in the second half.
Arsenal meanwhile head into this tie as clear underdogs having lost six of their last head to head meetings with Man City. The Gunners will be looking to record their first win at the Etihad since 2013.
The Gunners are fresh from an embarrassing 3:2 loss to Brentford in a friendly that saw David Luiz comically show his other side and will look to make a statement in this tie. Although they head into the tie unbeaten in eight league games, Mikel Arteta will also be hoping that his first return to the Etihad since taking charge of Arsenal will prove successful.
However, he must ensure that David Luiz and co and tuned on to stop a rampant City side that has plundered 68 goals in the league this season.
The visitors have been undone by a defense that has conceded 36 times in 28 games. They also have been hampered by a lack of cutting edge and decisiveness in their games. They remain the side with the highest number of draws in the league this season, as over 46% of their game have ended in draws.
Their first-half performance has been a disaster so far as they have trailed at the break-in over 53% of their away games in the league this season.
Manchester City to win @ 4/11
Over 3.5 Goals @ 1/1
Manchester City to win both half @ 1/1