Manchester City vs Arsenal: Preview and Prediction


Manchester City vs Arsenal this Sunday is indeed the match to watch this weekend.

The last meeting earlier this season ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw, will we see a repeat?

With Chelsea, Manchester United and Southampton all playing on Saturday, this encounter is a must-win at the very least for Man City if they are to keep up with the Blues who play Swansea away.

Arsenal may settle for a draw more willingly than City, but there is danger of falling behind United and Southampton in the fight for a top 4 spot if nothing is gained from the match — added to the fact that fierce rivals Tottenham are breathing down their neck.

Team news:

Man City are expected to be without Samir Nasri who is recovering from a thigh injury, Yaya Toure and new signing Wilfried Bony are away on international duty at the African Cup of Nations. Edin Dzeko is a minor doubt.

More from Arsenal

Arsenal are reported to be without Mathieu Debuchy, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Danny Welbeck. All of which are not expected to return until after February. Kieran Gibbs stands a good chance of featuring.

Key players:

Sergio Aguero is a likely starter for this match after coming on against Everton last weekend, however I believe he may take a couple of games to return to full sharpness.

David Silva on the other hand is a player Arsenal can’t afford to let dominate this match. Dare I say it, I consider this season to be his greatest for City so far, he only needs one goal to match his highest tally of seven, although he has considerably less assists than recent seasons, with just four. That doesn’t however, take anything away from his performances.

It’s a lot easier picking Arsenal’s star player, Alexis Sanchez has stood out as the Gunners greatest threat for what feels like all season so far.

Limiting the influence of Sanchez will be a tough task for Kompany and his defence, whose last clean sheet was more than a month ago against Leicester City. The aerial ability of Giroud, and the return of Walcott from injury promises to make this a big test for Man City.

Current form:

Man City’s unbeaten league record stretches back to the end of October, however the performances have been lacking overall, with the surprising impact of Frank Lampard helping the team get the wins regardless. The loss of Yaya Toure may be a worry, for his goals from midfield have also proved very welcome after an odd summer where it appeared like he may be leaving.

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Set to return, Virgil Van Dijk facing heavy criticism back home
Set to return, Virgil Van Dijk facing heavy criticism back home /

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  • Arsenal are on a good run themselves, 19 points in the last ten games is encouraging for Wenger who has recieved criticism for results earlier in the season. The 3-2 defeat at Stoke in early December which prompted much of it has seemingly motivated his side to up their performances, which resulted in a strong end to 2014. Southampton on New Year’s day ended this unbeaten spell but the team are closing back in on where they belong.

    Last five league meetings:

    Sat 13 Sep 2014 Arsenal 2 – 2 Man City
    Sat 29 Mar 2014 Arsenal 1 – 1 Man City
    Sat 14 Dec 2013 Man City 6 – 3 Arsenal
    Sun 13 Jan 2013 Arsenal 0 – 2 Man City
    Sun 23 Sep 2012 Man City 1 – 1 Arsenal

    Match prediction:

    I’d be surprised if this game doesn’t have goals. I expect Man City to get a win here but I can’t see it being quite as emphatic as that 6-3 back in 2013. Arsenal look like a team slowly recovering after losing many big players through injury, and I’d expect Wenger to make the game difficult for Pellegrini.

    Unless Giroud decides to headbutt anyone and get sent off, I expect this to be a very close and entertaining match.

    3-2 to Man City.

    Next: Swansea vs. Chelsea: Thoughts And Prediction