Manchester City vs Arsenal Preview & Betting Tips: Away Goals Value

Bukayo SakaThere is an almighty clash in the Premier League as Manchester City and Arsenal lock horns (4.30pm Sunday). As both look to remain in a title race that is currently wide open between three teams, can the visitors cause the in-form hosts a few problems? Or will Guardiola’s men prove to be too strong on their own patch? This MCFC vs AFC preview, with betting tips, can answer that.

Last time out in the league, Manchester City’s title push was halted slightly as they were unable to get the better of one of their direct challengers, drawing 1-1 away against Liverpool. The Citizens took the lead on the occasion, but they were unable to hold on and, in the end, were perhaps even fortunate to cling to a point as they allowed their opponents to create quite a bit more than they were able to muster in the final third. Things do not get any easier here as they now encounter an Arsenal side that went into the international break in a rampant mood.

For a while, towards the end of the busy December period, it looked as though the red and white team from North London had become something of a spent force as far as the title race was concerned. Their defeat to Fulham on New Year’s Eve marked three league games on the spin without a victory, though they have since picked themselves up and have shifted through the gears, so much so that they are now speeding along following eight league wins in a row. Such form is incredibly hard to knock, especially as they have scored so many goals along the way.

MCFC not looking overly secure

The EPL title race is a three-way thing and Manchester City are very much in it. However, for all their big names and impressive attacking football, for some time now, they have looked far from secure at the back. As touched on in this preview above, last time out in the league against Liverpool, they really did struggle to contain their opponents, surrendering not only a goal but 2.82 expected goals, while they’ve kept only one clean sheet in their last five games in all competitions.

When FC Copenhagen recently visited the Etihad, the Danes caused plenty of problems, especially on the break, while much the same can be said of Man City’s visit to Luton in the FA Cup. Of course, on that occasion, Guardiola’s men had more than enough offensive quality to get the job done with plenty to spare, though the fact that they conceded twice and gave up 2.58 xG does not exactly bode well ahead of a game against a fierce-looking Arsenal side.

Is there a better offensive team than AFC?

Given their recent form, the question has to be asked and that question is: is this Arsenal team the best attacking team in the game at present? It’s hard to say they are not, such has been the quality of their recent offensive efforts. No team in the Premier League has scored more goals than the Gunners this season, who have notched 70 in 28 games, averaging a very impressive 2.50 goals per game. Interestingly, in Europe’s top five leagues this season, only Inter Milan and Bayern Munich have scored more goals than Mikel Arteta’s men.

Gunners turned the tide

For a while, this fixture had been dominated by Manchester City, who ahead of the Charity Shield back in August, had won eight games on the spin against the Gunners. However, Sunday’s visitors dug deep to win the game that raised the curtain on the current season (via penalties), before coming out on top when the pair battled it out in the league back in October, winning 1-0, courtesy of a late Gabriel Martinelli strike. Can they now make it back-to-back wins against Man City?

Go for away goals in the betting

At the early odds with the bookmakers, the visitors look a nice bet to score a couple of goals in this fixture. The hosts haven’t conceded twice since that FA Cup game against Luton, but they have only kept one clean sheet since then, while the signs have been there. Let’s face it, they could have easily conceded three against Liverpool recently, which doesn’t exactly suggest that they’ll keep things tight against a very rampant Arsenal attack.

Arteta’s team scores an average of 2.50 goals per game. In very few other games would you get odds of 15/8 on them scoring twice, and while Manchester City away is a tough assignment, this is a City side that continues to be relatively lenient at the back.

Moreover, the Gunners have scored at least two or more goals in each of their last four away games, while they’ve also scored multiple goals in big games this season against Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea, Brighton and Newcastle, which bodes well. This is an Arsenal team that could hardly have more attacking players in fine form, with Kai Havertz scoring four and assisting two in his last six, Leandro Trossard scoring four in his last five starts, Bukayo Saka scoring seven and assisting one in his last nine, while Gabriel Jesus is once again fit and ready to bolster the forward line.

At the end of the day, this is a big game and anything can happen and given their own attacking strength, the hosts could very easily get the result they desire, but all in all, it’s hard to get away from the fact that the visitors look a little generously priced to score two or more, so for the betting tips for this EPL game preview we suggest:

  • Arsenal to score over 1.5 goals (on the total ‘away goals’ market) @ best odds of 15/8 with BetVictor.