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Man City vs Arsenal: Preview, Injury News, Preferred XI, Betting Tip & Prediction
Arsenal face a lunchtime kick off tomorrow as we take on Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
It finishes off whats already been a gruelling week for the club that’s seen us play-out a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Everton last Sunday before slumping to a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Napoli in midweek.
It’s going to be a huge ask for the players to pick themselves up and produce a performance capable of beating City on their home turf, particularly as we’re likely to be feeling the effects of Wednesday night, but that’s the task in front of us.
While Arsene Wenger had to put out virtually our strongest eleven in midweek, City were able to rest all of their key men and they still somehow managed to come away from Bayern Munich with a 3-2 win. I just hope tiredness isn’t the defining factor this weekend.
We currently hold a six point advantage over City, and are five clear of Liverpool and Chelsea, so if we can come away with even a point we’ll be in great shape.
The big news that’s being reported this evening is that Bacary Sagna passed a late fitness test and is in the squad that travelled to Manchester this evening.
It will be a huge boost to have Sagna back in the team as Carl Jenkinson is potentially a weak link that City could exploit. Having our first choice back-five available will make us a much tougher outfit to break down.
Arsene Wenger also revealed today that while Lukas Podolski is ‘available’, he feels the German is still a little short so it doesn’t seem likely he’ll be in the squad. Thankfully we have no fresh injuries so Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Abou Diaby and Yaya Sanogo are the only players on the sidelines.
It will be interesting to see who the boss picks in central midfield. Aaron Ramsey is almost certain to play having been rested in midweek, but it’s still unclear how we’ll line-up. Wenger seems to like playing both Arteta and Flamini together for the ‘big’ game, but I think Mikel needs to have a breather. He was looking leggy on Wednesday and he’s not as dynamic as Flamini. So I’d prefer to see a Ramsey-Flamini axis this weekend.
Theo Walcott is a must-starter for me. His pace will ensure Clichy won’t have free license to bomb forward and will keep them pegged back an extra 5-10 yards which will ease the pressure on the defence.
Santi Cazorla hasn’t been on top form of late but he’s still a huge talent and we’ll need his creativity if we want to get something from the game. I just hope Arsene doesn’t go too defensive and leave the likes of Walcott and Santi out. It just invites pressure, as it’s done for the last couple of games.
As for City, they will recall the likes of Kompany, Toure, Nasri, Aguero and Negredo – who all got rests in midweek. Gael Clichy has recovered from a knock while Joe Hart is being tipped to keep his place in goal.
Here’s the team I’d like to see:
I’d expect City will line-up something like this:
Betting & Prediction
I’m not an expert on the legalities of sports betting in USA and the rest of Europe, but here in the UK we are encouraged to gamble at every turn. This section isn’t designed to encourage you to bet and I’m certainly not a professional gambler. I’m simply offering my personal betting tip as a bit of fun to those who want to have a sociable punt on a game of football. So please don’t bet more than you can afford to lose, because my tips rarely come off!
Right, this game could be tricky. We don’t really know how Arsenal are going to respond from a tough week and let’s face facts, City are formidable at home. They boast a 100% record, have scored the most number of home goals (29!) and have conceded just 2. However, Arsenal have the best away defence, conceding just 5, so it suggests this could be a tighter game than some might suspect.
Tip: I’d be tempted to back under 2.5 goals here and hope we can sneak a 1-0 win or hold them to a 1-1 draw.
Prediction: Man City 1-1 Arsenal