When Pep Guardiola wants a response he usually gets one, and with the chance to cut the gap on Liverpool yet again, Man City are taken to see off Arsenal on Sunday.
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Man City v Arsenal (Sky Sports Main Event at 1630)
If this game was down at the Emirates you would fancy Arsenal to have a great chance at taking another chunk out of Manchester City’s title challenge, but home comforts at the Etihad should be just what Pep Guardiola’s side need after their shock defeat at Newcastle.
Liverpool’s draw with Leicester kept the gap to just five points so City can take that back down to just two by the time the Reds feature on Monday Night Football at West Ham, so that defeat at St James’ Park may not end up as damaging as they first feared.
The Gunners moved up into fourth after edging Cardiff, with Chelsea losing at Bournemouth, so will be in good spirits heading to Manchester, but their away form, which reads just one win in their last seven, is a huge negative going to the home of the champions.
We have seen how Unai Emery’s side got carved open at Anfield and it’s hard to give them a chance of anything but scoring and making the game exciting if they can start quickly, but the few times Guardiola needs a response, especially at home, he usually gets one.
Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Arsenal (Sky Bet odds: 9/1)
Could be a popular prediction this one as it’s the kind of result Arsenal have become experts in getting away from home against the top sides. They should be confident and City will want to put things right so it could turn out to be a decent game, but if City get ahead then Arsenal will end up leaving themselves wide open at the back.
Best bet: Man City to win & both teams to score at 7/5
It’s almost a no-brainer for this one given the situation, both sides need a win and with these two sets of players a draw looks unbackable, but preference is obviously for the champions but given their result at Newcastle, and Arsenal’s excellent firing line they’re more than capable of getting a goal.
Goals: Aguero & Aubameyang both to score at 7/2
Aguero always scores and has a great record against the Gunners but, having not found the back of the net in his last two appearances against them, he will no doubt end that 'drought' by bagging a goal. Aubameyang is a tremendous striker and has all the attributes to trouble the Man City rearguard which has proved particularly fallible recently.
Sporting Life RequestABet: Man City to win, Aguero and Aubameyang both to score at 13/2
- Manchester City have won their last three Premier League games against Arsenal – they’ve haven’t won four consecutive top-flight games against the Gunners since April 1937.
- Arsenal have lost seven of their last 11 visits to the Etihad Stadium in all competitions against Man City (W2 D2), losing the last two.
- Manchester City have lost four of their last nine Premier League games (W5), as many as in their previous 72 combined (W56 D12).
- Arsenal have lost 11 of their last 19 away Premier League games (W5 D3), keeping just one clean sheet in that time, a 1-0 win at Huddersfield Town in May 2018.
- Since Roberto Firmino’s goal for Liverpool on January 3rd, Manchester City have scored 25 goals in a row without conceding at the Etihad in all competitions, winning their last four home games by an aggregate score of 24-0.
- Manchester City have lost three of their last seven Premier League games when scoring first – they had lost just three of their previous 96 matches when scoring the first goal.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his 25th Premier League goal in Arsenal’s last match against Cardiff, reaching that number faster than any other Gunners player in the competition’s history (37 games).
- Since August 20th, Manchester City have only won three more points in the Premier League (50) than Arsenal (47) and have lost more games (4) than the Gunners (3) in that time.
- Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has never lost a match against Unai Emery in all competitions (W7 D4 L0) – the only manager he has faced more during his managerial career without losing is Joaquín Caparrós (13 games).
- Sergio Aguero has scored in seven of his last 11 matches against Arsenal in all competitions for Manchester City, though he hasn’t found the net in either of his last two.
- Since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Premier League debut (February 3rd 2018), Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have combined for seven Arsenal goals in the competition – two more than any other duo for the club in that time.
Odds correct as of 1600 GMT on 01/02/19