The meeting between Arsenal and Manchester City is always a special one, especially since City started establishing themselves as one of Europe’s strongest teams. Manchester City have been a dominant force since the start of last decade, while Arsenal have fallen considerably since their last league title win. Arsenal have not won the Premier League since 2004, but last season, they gave Manchester City a run for their money when they spent the majority of the time at the top, only for the opportunity to slip away at the end.
The tactical battle between Arteta and Pep Guardiola also adds an interesting subplot to this game. Arteta, often dubbed “the apprentice” for the time he spent under Pep in Manchester City’s coaching staff, has an understanding of Guardiola’s philosophies. While he is yet to one-up his mentor, Arteta is undeniably getting closer, showing glimpses of a manager who, in time, could create a strong legacy. This mentor-apprentice perspective brings another aspect to this game which will also be closely analysed by fans and pundits alike.
Despite narrowly missing out on the Premier League title last year, they’ve had a summer to reflect and learn from their mistakes. Arsenal seem to have a fresh sense of vitality with them this season and are determined to continue playing football at the highest level after seeing what they’re capable of.
This game presents a perfect opportunity for Arsenal to take an early lead in the Premier League race and make a statement. As for Manchester City, they will be hoping their loss to Wolves on Matchday 7 was just an anomaly and will hope to bounce back with a win against a top team.
Arsenal vs. Manchester City Tips
In theory, the natural conclusion when you put two teams together who love to attack is goals. Arsenal, the home side, will feel some obligation to take the game to last year’s treble winners, which is typically a situation where Man City thrives. Arsenal also greatly emphasizes pressing, which will test Man City’s usual excellent play from the back. Altogether we will be left feeling pretty deflated if this match ends in a goalless draw. We don’t mind sticking our neck out on this one by saying we expect both teams to score.
Now we have backed there to be goals, the next question could be, how many? Martinelli and Haaland will be hungry for goals, and many others are more than capable of causing damage. When two big teams meet, the game traditionally has a habit of not living up to the billing. This game feels a little bit different, though, and we think that betting on there to be four goals or more is an outside bet worth making.
Arsenal vs Manchester City Analysis
Arsenal are currently unbeaten in the league. They have only dropped points against their London rivals, Fulham and Spurs, but we think it is fair to say that, for the most part, their football has not been as good on the eye this season. This is in no way intended as a criticism. Arsenal were condemned last year for not showing the maturity to recognize when the game was in their control, and apart from quite a gun ho match with their fiercest rivals where Mikel Arteta could be seen screaming at his players in an attempt to slow down the game, Arsenal have had a more mature look about them this season.
Arsenal vs Manchester City Predictions
We have become so used to Manchester City winning that the result last week surprised everyone watching. Wolves deserved their win, and City, with new signings Kovacic and Nunes in midfield, did not look as strong as they so often do. However, it is possible that they weren’t 100% on song for this game and were not as switched on as you need to be in the Premier League. Sounds like we are making excuses, but when City are in full flow, they are almost unstoppable. By his ridiculously high standard, Erling Haaland will be craving a goa; and that’s why we are backing him to score the first goal.
Arsenal have been quite resolute this year. Declan Rice has fitted in nicely, which was to be expected, but their two other major signings will be a concern to Arteta. Timber, a quality center-half, was bought to provide competition to Gabriel and Saliba but picked up a cruel long-term injury. Havertz, on the other hand, has started the majority of the games and looks completely devoid of anything resembling confidence. It will be fascinating to see if Arteta is prepared to start him, which is now their biggest game of the season so far. Perhaps made even bigger considering last weekend’s shock result featuring City and Wolves.
Arsenal Team News
Squad depth is crucial for any team competing in the Champions League, and Arsenal started out with a decent squad, but fortune seems to have turned against them. Their star wingers Gabriel Martinelli and now Bukayo Saka, are both out for this game. Saka picked up a muscular injury in midweek when Arsenal lost to RC Lens, and considering his form this season, it is a huge blow for Mikel Arteta’s side.
On the positive front, Arsenal saw the return of Leandro Trossard, who could cover either of the wings and will provide a much-needed boost to the Gunners. Thomas Partey might also be back, who could offer a strong presence in the midfield, even if his appearance is just limited to a substitution in the second half.
Manchester City Team News
Manchester City players are known for their resilience and rarely struggle with injuries, but even when they do, they have a strong squad capable of filling any vacant position left by the injured player. This time around, they are without the likes of two key players, Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri, whose exclusions could prove to be huge reliefs for Arsenal. Kevin De Bruyne always brings his A-game against Arsenal and has been a major factor in why Arsenal have lost this fixture in the past. Rodri’s suspension has already proven costly for Manchester City, who lost their first game to Wolves without their defensive midfielder, showing just how important he is to their side.