Manchester City should be confident of scoring a second consecutive victory away to top seven opposition when they travel to the Emirates to face out-of-form Arsenal on Saturday (17:30 GMT, live on Sky Sports).
Arsenal come into the match on the back of a disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Swansea on Tuesday. They are fourth in the Premier League, with 63 points from 19 wins, six draws and six defeats, six points adrift of leaders Chelsea.
The Gunners did well to come back from an early deficit to lead going into the final minute on Tuesday, only for Mathieu Flamini to inadvertently put through his own net and gift a point to their visitors. Arsene Wenger admitted afterwards that Arsenal’s title hopes are all but over and will, indeed, now be more concerned about holding onto fourth.
The Frenchman’s side have been outscored and outshot from central areas inside the penalty area since the turn of the year. They have won just three of their last 10 league matches, allowing Everton to close to within six points with a game in hand. The two sides meet at Goodison Park next weekend.
Injuries to key figures (Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott) have reduced Arsenal’s offensive capabilities at a vital stage of the campaign. With their defence also underperforming, if not quite to the same degree, it is little surprise they have dropped off the title pace.
Wenger will again be without the injured Abou Diaby (knee), Ozil (hamstring), Ramsey (thigh), Walcott (knee) and Wilshere (foot) for the visit of City, while Laurent Koscielny will also miss out after picking up a calf injury in last weekend’s heavy defeat away to Chelsea.
Man City come into this match on the back of a comfortable 3-0 win away to local rivals Manchester United. They are three points behind leaders Chelsea, with 66 points from 21 wins, three draws and five defeats, but still have two games in hand.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side took the initiative from the first whistle against United, going ahead in the first minute through Edin Dzeko (pictured above) and dominating the early exchanges, with David Silva consistently able to find space between the lines. Second half goals from Dzeko and Toure sealed a relatively easy victory in which goalkeeper Joe Hart was rarely called into action.
It was a performance akin to those seen between late November and late January, when Man City went on a run of 20 matches unbeaten in all competitions. With the Capital One Cup won and their participation in the FA Cup and Champions League now over, three consecutive victories to nil suggests they are fully focused on securing the league title.
While the absence of top-scorer Sergio Aguero has certainly been felt, the contributions of Dzeko and City’s numerous goal threats from midfield have proved sufficient to keep their title charge going. Pellegrini will also have taken encouragement from the solid performance of his defence in the win over United. Vincent Kompany, in particular, was excellent.
Pellegrini will await late fitness tests on Aguero (hamstring), Matija Nastasic (knee) and Micah Richards (muscle) ahead of Saturday’s match, but has no further injury concerns.
Arsenal v Man City Betting Tips Advice
City emerged as 6-3 victors from an incredibly open match when these sides met at the Etihad earlier this season. Last season’s equivalent fixture ended in a 2-0 win for Man City, which was their first victory away to Arsenal in the league since 1975. There have been three wins for City, one for Arsenal and two draws in their last six league meetings at all venues.
Arsenal are in bad form and have a terrible record against fellow top four sides over the last couple of years, having picked up just six points from 33 available. This season, they have conceded five or more goals in defeats to City, Chelsea and Liverpool and with injuries having robbed them of many of their best players are unlikely to get a result here.
City come into the match full of confidence after their commanding derby win over United in midweek. They are functioning well at both ends of the pitch, as evidenced by five consecutive league clean sheets and 10 goals scored in their last three matches, and look well placed to replicate last season’s victory at the Emirates.
- Back Manchester City to win @ 11/10 with BetVictor, Coral, Paddy Power or Stan James.
- City have scored at least two goals in six of their last seven away matches in the Premier League and will be confident of breaching an Arsenal defence that was unable to contain them at the Emirates and has also struggled against the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool. Back City to score two or more goals @ 10/11 with SkyBet.