Manchester City vs Arsenal preview, betting tips and predictions: Gunners to struggle as City juggernaut rolls on
Manchester City to win and Leroy Sane FGS @ 11/5 with Paddy Power
Manchester City to win 3-1 @ 7/2 with Paddy Power
Manchester City to win both halves @ 13/5 with Paddy Power
It is getting to the point where even the biggest cynics in football are wondering if Manchester City can go an entire season unbeaten. Arsenal may not be what they were 13 years ago, but as the last team to do that, the Gunners an ideal team for City to face as their next test at the Etihad Stadium. Pep Guardiola’s side have won ten of their first eleven games, amassing 28 points, and they have averaged over three goals per game. They are understandably trying to downplay their form at this early stage, but it does suggest they will be huge favourites for the game on Sunday.
Arsenal do not have a great record in games against the other big teams, losing 4-0 to Liverpool earlier in the season at Anfield. The heart of the players and Arsene Wenger’s tactical approach have both been heavily criticised, but they did show they can compete when they went to Stamford Bridge and defended well for a 0-0 draw. Stopping this City side will be a completely different level, though, and we think it could be a comfortable home win.
As already mentioned, Guardiola’s men have reached new heights this season. Their style of play, always looking to score and keep possession, has cast doubts over their ability to win when the going gets tough. But beating Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge, and conceding just six times all season, suggests they can mix it up and should have no problems. Letting in two at the Hawthorns last week may cause some worries, though, especially now Mesut Özil, Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette are beginning to find a rhythm in the same team. But sitting five points clear at the top of the Premier League will only increase their confidence.
But the tactical innovations of City are sweeping all before them and Arsenal will have to alter their gameplan to contain them. The Chelsea result will give them confidence, but they struggled to overcome Swansea at the Emirates Stadium last week, eventually winning 2-1 and they currently find themselves in fifth place. Defeat on Sunday will leave them 12 points off their opponents, a huge gap at this early stage.
Injuries are not really an issue for City with the quality at the disposal of Pep Guardiola, but they will be concerned about the fitness of club captain Vincent Kompany who missed the trip to Napoli in midweek. At the time of writing, Sergio Aguero has not yet broken the all time goalscoring record and Guardiola could give him the opportunity having rested him at West Brom. He should come in for Gabriel Jesus.
Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane, our tip for FGS, are likely to start, but Benjamin Mendy remains a long-term absentee with a cruciate ligament injury.
Arsenal do not have many major injury worries ahead of the game. Shkodran Mustafi still hasn’t played since the international break, but Wenger may not want to risk his fellow compatriot Per Mertesacker against the blistering pace of City’s attack.