It’s been a hellish period for us since February (as usual) but this time, the bleeding seems to be unstoppable. Arsenal have lost the last 2 premier league games; the last of which came at West Brom. The uncertainty over the futures of manager Arsene Wenger and our 2 best players (Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez) is mostly responsible for the dour disposition of the team on and off the pitch. This weekend, Arsenal have a big opportunity to bounce back against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
Arsenal will miss goalkeeper Petr Cech who injured his calf at West Brom. Lucas Perez is out with a thigh injury, Santi Cazorla will miss the remainder of the season. Mesut Ozil is fit again after missing the last game due to a hamstring problem.
Man City will be without Gabriel Jesus who is healing from a fractured Metatarsal and Bacary Sagna with a thigh injury.
- Arsenal have lost just one of 19 previous home Premier League matches against Manchester City (W12 D6).
- Manchester City are looking to do the double over Arsenal in a league season for the first time since 1975/76.
- The last seven Premier League meetings between these two sides have produced 27 goals – 3.86 per game, on average.
- Arsene Wenger has won just two of his previous nine competitive meetings with Pep Guardiola (W2 D2 L5), both in the Champions League.
- This is only the second time that Arsenal have found themselves outside the top five in the Premier League as late as April in a season under Arsene Wenger – the other occasion was in April 2006.
- On the day of this game, Arsenal will have spent 1209 days behind Manchester City in the Premier League table since the start of 2011-12. In the six Premier League seasons prior to this (2005-06 to 2010-11) they spent just 246 days behind Man City in the Premier League table.
- Theo Walcott has scored four goals in his last four Premier League games versus Manchester City, but he hasn’t scored in the league since December (against City).
- Only Thierry Henry (0.73) has a better goals per game record against Premier League sides from London than Sergio Aguero (0.70) – min. 15 games. The Argentine striker has 37 goals in 53 apps against teams from the capital.
- These two sides have scored the most goals through substitutes in the Premier League this season – Arsenal (8) and Manchester City (7).
- Pep Guardiola has suffered five league defeats as Manchester City boss this season – he’s never lost six in a single league campaign as a manager.
- Manchester City have won just four of their last 15 Premier League matches played on a Sunday (W4 D6 L5).
- If all goals scored after the 85th minute in the Premier League this season were removed, Arsenal would be seven points worse off (more than any other side) and below WBA & Everton in the table (8th).
(Stats Courtesy: Statszone)
HOW BOTH TEAMS COULD LINE UP
Nothing seems to be working for Arsenal at the moment and the team is very low on confidence. But I don’t expect Wenger to make many changes. David Ospina will start in goal with Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal retained in defence. Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey or Mohamed Elneny will start in central midfield with Mesut Ozil as playmaker. I expect Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez in attack.
Man City: Willy Caballero, Pablo Zabaleta, John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi, Aleksandr Kolarov, Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Sergio Aguero.
I expect a reaction from the boys and something tells me Arsenal will turn up on Sunday. Arsenal don’t seem to have it too difficult against Man City in recent years but the team is so low on confidence right now. For a start, because of the imbalance in midfield, the centre back partnership of Mustafi and Koscielny have been badly exposed to too many attacks. Bellerin have been off form too. They have to buckle up for Arsenal to have any chance.
Man City currently draw their strength from the wing play understanding of Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane. We must match them for pace on the wings with Welbeck and Walcott. Aaron Ramsey if he starts have to be disciplined enough not to isolate Xhaka against the likes of Silva and Fernandinho. Alexis Sanchez is the best player in the EPL this season IMO and I expect him to lead the line aggressively.
This will be a tough game but I think we will win 3-2 in what promises to be an open entertaining game