Arsenal v Man City Betting Predictions – back a Man City Win at 11/8 with Skybet
Arsenal and Manchester City meet at Wembley Stadium in the FA Cup semi final both looking for a victory that would provide a much needed shot at a trophy in May. Pep Guardiola needs to win the competition to avoid a first season without a title in his entire career, while Arsene Wenger may hope a third win in four years will ease some of the pressure on his shoulders.
City come into the game in much better form, with the Gunners struggling in recent weeks. Wenger opted to go for three defenders in their victory at lowly Middlesbrough on Monday night, but such a system would be a real risk against the pace of Guardiola’s side, particularly in the shape of Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling.
Nacho Monreal will be a weak link whether he plays in defence or at wingback, and the pace of Hector Bellerin may mean Wenger reverts to a four-man defence. Boro didn’t have the quality in the wide areas to exploit Wenger’s gamble, but City undoubtedly will do and that has to be on the Frenchman’s mind.
Wenger may also look to recall Francis Coquelin to the starting XI to stand mre of a chance of containing City high up the pitch. Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey were rarely under pressure on Monday, but the constant movement of David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne, inside of the wingers, will call for a more disciplined presence in central areas.
But City, too, will need to be careful. Guardiola has tended to play a double pivot in the bigger games, and that is sensible when considering the positions Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil pick up in behind the midfield. If left exposed, Arsenal could turn on City’s high line in defence and outnumber them. Starting Theo Walcott through the middle instead of Olivier Giroud will be more effective too, because of his pace and the space in behind City’s defence.
This game will be open, with such a wide pitch to utilise. The outcome depends completely on Guardiola’s team selection, and if he gives his defence sufficient protection, City should come out on top in another exciting encounter, following their 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium earlier in the season.