Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: Arsenal vs Manchester City Preview

Arsenal vs Manchester City Preview

Martin Odegaard and Jack Grealish

One of two very exciting games that will chorus the New Year! What better way is there of bringing in 2022 than with some simply sumptuous English football. I’m excited about this one! Arsenal are slowly coming into their own and City are the ultimate test.

Sit back and take this all in – before we do it all again on Sunday with Chelsea and Liverpool!

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English Premier League
Saturday 1 January
Emirates Stadium
14:30

To Win
Arsenal 48/10
Draw 36/10
Manchester City 5/10

Arsenal

Arsenal have truly adopted the narrative of prioritizing one’s defence. Mikel Arteta is beginning to show why the patience shown by the club (and only some of its supporters) was justified. Their record against ‘struggling’ teams is exactly what it needs to be if they want to challenge for Champions League spots. Duly dispatching Norwich, Burnley, Leeds, Newcastle and Watford are games that would have instilled confidence in their young squad…doing it without conceding a goal would have been the very necessary cherry on top.

The relationship between Ben White, Gabriel and Aaron Ramsdale have seen the Gunners craft a secure defence and a solid platform for their midfield to transition the game. I saw a brilliant statistic which further speaks to the impressive defensive performance of those three, Arsenal haven’t conceded a goal before the 38th minute of the 14 games they have played together…I think its these sorts of milestones (small as they may be) that have changed the feel at the Emirates and given Arteta’s side a run of fantastic results.

Of course, they will face a titanic challenge in Manchester City, but I would hope they see the game as a free hit. Arsenal is not yet a side capable of challenging City, that’s clear. Their fight is not at the summit of the league at this moment in time. They need to continue chipping away and crafting out their identity under their young manager, beat midtable and struggling teams and ensure they secure those points…and when they face sides like City – use it as a measuring tool of their progress and a test of the resolve in their team.

I say all of that with the greatest amount of respect. I’ve enjoyed watching their slow and steady improvement and I think the likes Mikel Arteta and Steven Gerrard will largely influence the narrative around young managers in the world’s top leagues.

Arsenal will no doubt come into this game brimming with confidence, they have won their last five fixtures (in all competition) scoring 19 times and conceding just twice! They will challenge Pep’s City and if they ask the right questions, we could enjoy a traditionally English, end-to-end, game of football to welcome the New Year.

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Manchester City

What more can one really say about this City side? They’ve won their last 10 games with the utmost conviction. They are becoming as sure a bet as betting may allow, according to the bookmakers, to lift the league title once again…although stranger things have happened.

City have been ruthless but looking back at the start of the season they seemed a little awkward at times. They lost to Spurs on the opening weekend, and we all sat up a little straighter…but since then they have been almost impossibly clinical.

The Sky Blues have become synonymous with getting out of the gates quickly, scoring early and then suffocating their opponents into submission. The pressure is unrelenting and the expectation for the boss is nothing if not constant. It will be interesting, however, if Arsenal can weather the early storm and just try and cause City to question themselves a little bit.

We saw glimpses of those nerves at the Etihad in the second half against Leicester, but the Foxes have issues of their own which would always inevitably come back to haunt them – set pieces being one of them.

This point of the season is always exciting, games come thick and fast, squads are stretched already and now with the added curveball of COVID-19 the margin for error is small…even for City. They are still just six points ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea (Liverpool have a game in hand) with half the season to go.

Arsenal have a dreadful record against City in the league, and the way City are playing I think the best outcome is a good game…but for the result, it’s an away win...

Prediction: Manchester City @ 5/10

To be completely honest, I think 5/10 about Manchester City is a brilliant price. There is nothing to suggest they don’t win here, the quality they have in their first-team, coupled with the rotational depth available to Pep Guardiola is simply scary.

Arsenal have been impressive though and I wouldn’t discourage you from backing them to get on the scoresheet themselves. But for me the straight away win is just as good as any ‘Christmas Cracker’ you might have enjoyed on Boxing Day.

Written by Ryan Liberty