Arsenal v Man City Betting Predictions | Back Draw at 9/2 with BetfairPublished March 29, 2017
Arsenal and Manchester City have both endured well-publicised issues this season, but on their day are amongst some of the best teams to watch in Europe. This one should have a lot of goals, but we’re going with the visitors to edge it late on this weekend.
What makes this one such a mouth-watering prospect is the fact that they both play with the same philosophy home or away, often throwing caution to the wind and attempting to get on the front foot. City do this particularly, with Pep Guardiola playing Yaya Toure as the sole anchoring midfield player behind a front five. Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, usually gives similar responsibility to Granit Xhaka, though two others flank him at all times.
An injury to Kevin de Bruyne could force Guardiola into a rethink. The benefit of taking risks by exposing Toure, himself a real physical presence who can dictate the tempo of this game from deep, is De Bruyne and David Silva are afforded more freedom to double up on the likes of Xhaka. The Belgian is also the link between Toure at the attacking third, but after being sent home early from international duty, his fitness is in real doubt for this weekend’s clash at the Emirates Stadium.
But Guardiola has always been a fan of the single-pivot in midfield, rather than two holding players, which really sets him apart from other managers. But he may change the system slightly.
Both sides have issues in the fullback area and will look to exploit this with the lighning pace of their respective wingers. But while Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling will look to stretch the Arsenal defence, creating space for Sergio Aguero and David Silva in between Arsenal’s midfield and attack, Alexis Sanchez will cut inside and double up on Toure alongside Mesut Ozil.
Behind Toure is an incredibly high line, so it may be worth starting Theo Walcott in attack to use his electric pace and get in behind. Claudio Bravo also struggles with crosses, opening up the possibility of starting Oliver Giroud.
This game is set up to be a cracker, but that can make it cagey too. The space Aguero and Silva will find, and their ability to punish it, will give City the upper hand, but it’ll go to the wire.