Arsenal vs Manchester City Preview

Arsenal and Manchester City square off in an epic Super Sunday clash at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal and Manchester City square off in an epic Super Sunday clash at the Emirates Stadium.
English Premier League | Sunday 2 April | Emirates Stadium | 17:00

Manchester City’s difficult test in London will begin with a trip to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday where they’ll take on Arsenal, three days before facing table-toppers Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. A recent run of defeats has seen Arsene Wenger’s side crash out of the Champions League and drop down to sixth in the Premier League table – well out of the title race. City are third in the table and seven points above Arsenal, although the Gunners have a game a hand. Both sides' title ambitions have all but disappeared, leaving them to concentrate on securing Champions League football for another season. The outcome of this tie might determine how each team will finish this campaign.

To Win (90mins)
Arsenal 19/10
Draw 49/20
Man City 13/10

Arsenal

Arsenal have found themselves under intense pressure in recent weeks after falling off the pace in the race for the top four. The Gunners, who are sixth in the Premier League table, have lost four of their last five Premier League games to heap further pressure on manager Arsene Wenger.

Pep Guardiola’s side are not the ideal opponents to face when you’re going through a bad run of form. Arsenal lost 2-1 in Manchester in December and should they do so again, a 10-point gap would open up between them. The Gunners cannot afford to lose this match.

The North London side are unbeaten in their last three home meetings against City, winning 2-1 last season before back-to-back draws at the Emirates Stadium. Wenger will be banking on his side’s impressive home form to bounce back on Sunday. Arsenal have lost just once in their last 12 matches at the Emirates Stadium, winning nine times – including six of the last seven.

Wenger has a few injury concerns ahead of the clash with goalkeeper Petr Cech set to miss out after picking up a calf injury against West Brom, meaning David Ospina has another chance to impress in the league. Lucas Perez is a doubt with a thigh strain, though Kieran Gibbs should be in contention at left-back. Santi Cazorla remains out for the rest of the season with his long-term Achilles problem.

Mesut Ozil featured for Germany off the bench during the international break, raising hopes that he will be fit to face Guardiola's side. Arsenal fans will be hoping Ozil can return to his form of last season this weekend. The former Real Madrid star provided 19 assists last season but hasn’t been up to the same standard this term. Ozil has set up just nine goals so far this season and has failed to find the back of the net since December.

Alexis Sanchez will be crucial to Arsenal’s chances of victory on Sunday. Despite the Gunners’ struggles this season, Sanchez has been in top form, scoring 18 goals while recording nine assists.



Manchester City

Pep Guardiola’s side are currently in third place in the Premier League table and victory over Arsenal would not only enhance their Champions League prospects for next season, but also severely damage the Gunners’, who would be 10 points off the chase. City will be looking to capitalize on how fragile and weak Arsenal have been for the past month. Guardiola’s side could look at this game as a breeze since Arsenal come off an embarrassing 3-1 loss to West Brom.

City are playing good football, and they might have found their groove under Guardiola. They must not get complacent though and think they can just rollover Arsenal. They must attack Arsenal and press their midfield so the Gunners don’t get time on the ball, which will force them to make errors and will lead to City getting chances on the counter.

Belgian playmaker Kevin De Bruyne is a doubt for the trip to the Emirates following a groin injury. De Bruyne was forced to pull out of the Belgium squad for the games against Greece and Russia but reports suggest his injury is a minor one. Ilkay Gundogan will not return again for City this season as he continues his rehabilitation from a serious knee injury, while January signing Gabriel Jesus is out with a broken metatarsal.

Sergio Aguero will be hoping to add to his tally of 13 goals against the Gunners. The Argentine international will look to expose Arsenal’s defensive frailties and fire his team to a vital win, which will also give City confidence when they travel to Chelsea on Wednesday.

Probable line-ups:

Arsenal: 4-2-3-1
Ospina; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Ramsey; Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez; Welbeck

Manchester City: 4-1-4-1
Caballero; Sagna, Stones, Otamendi, Kolarov; Toure; Sterling, Silva, De Bruyne, Sane; Aguero

Prediction: Sanchez and Aguero to Score Anytime (11/2)
This is a crucial game for both teams. Arsenal need this win to give them more confidence and push them into the top four, while City need to keep their good run of form going and keep their spot in the top four. Although I fancy City to edge it, I’m going for Alexis Sanchez and Sergio Aguero to Score Anytime at 11/2.

Written by Chadley Nagel