It’s Arsenal versus Manchester City and table-topping apprentice against master as Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola collide for one of the most highly-anticipated Premier League (PL) games of the campaign. Adding to the narrative of a thrilling title race is Arsenal’s recent wobble, which has seen them go consecutive PL games without a win for the first time this season (D1, L1), opening the door for City to leapfrog them into top spot with victory here.
The Gunners were perhaps unfortunate in Saturday’s 1-1 PL draw to Brentford, after a dubious-looking Bees’ equaliser led Arteta to state that officials were “changing the rules’’. The Spaniard may feel that they’ll need a better rub of the green against the only side he’s failed to beat in the PL (L5), with City also emerging victorious the last ten times these clubs have faced each other in this competition.
That’s Arsenal’s longest-ever losing PL run against one opponent and considering City also beat them 1-0 in last month’s FA Cup encounter, there may be growing optimism in the visiting fanbase. Yet, a City side which has shown some uncharacteristic flaws recently (W4, L3) is likely to be truly tested by the high-flying Londoners, despite the comfortable nature of their 3-1 win over Aston Villa last time out.
That triumph was, however, Guardiola’s 184th from 250 PL matches, which ranks as the most wins by any PL manager after 250 games in charge. The actual task of snapping a three-game losing streak on the road and marking his 185th win at a buzzing Emirates might be made tougher by the potential absence of free-scoring striker Erling Haaland, who suffered a “big knock” during their latest victory, leaving fans holding their breath ahead of this enormous showdown.
Players to watch: Eddie Nketiah might be key to Arsenal’s hopes, as he’s netted three goals from his last four PL home games. City’s Riyad Mahrez looms large however, with the winger striking and assisting last time out, whilst also securing goal contributions on his last two visits to the Emirates Stadium (G1, A1).
Hot streak: Arsenal have lost their last eight PL games against reigning champions.
|Arsenal (33.7%)||Draw (18.5%)||Manchester City(47.8%)|
|Arsenal 2:2 Manchester City|
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