Premier League: Manchester City vs Arsenal preview


Defending champions Manchester City can't afford any more slip-ups, but Sunday's match against Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium could very well produce another one for Pep Guardiola and his men. The Citizens did win the reverse fixture in August 2-0 with goals from Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling, but that was the very first Premier League match for Gunners boss Unai Emery. Manchester City have won the last four direct matches in all competitions and the last two at home. Arsenal have not won a match against Manchester City since 2015, when Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud scored in a 2-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City suffered their fourth Premier League defeat of the season on Tuesday, when they surprisingly lost 2-1 at Newcastle United. This defeat was difficult to predict, especially after the first minute of the match, because Sergio Aguero put the Citizens ahead just 25 seconds after kick-off. But Manchester City played an incredibly poor match after that flamboyant start and got punished in the second half. That result leaves them five points behind league leaders Liverpool, who play at West Ham United on Monday. Claudio Bravo, Eliaquim Mangala and Vincent Kompany remain on the injured list, while Ederson and Benjamin Mendy are doubts.

Arsenal had better fortune on Tuesday, they collected a 2-1 home victory over Cardiff and moved up to fourth place, tied on 47 points with fifth-placed Chelsea. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette scored for the Gunners against Cardiff, the second consecutive Premier League victory for Unai Emery and his men. Rob Holding, Sokratis Papasthatopoulos, Hector Bellerin and Danny Welbeck are still out of contention, while Laurent Koscielny, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are all injury doubts. New signing Denis Suarez joined on loan from Barcelona on transfer deadline day and he could make his debut for the Gunners in this match. Suarez was a Manchester City player before moving back to Spain.

Probable line-ups:

Man City: Ederson - Walker, Stones, Laporte, Mendy - B. Silva, Fernandinho, De Bruyne - Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling

Arsenal: Leno - Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Koscielny, Kolasinac - Torreira, Xhaka, Guendouzi - Ramsey - Lacazette, Aubameyang

My prediction: Manchester City to win 3-2, Arsenal's defensive weaknesses will most likely be exploited by the Citizens.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Man City win - 1.33
Draw - 6.00
Arsenal win - 9.00

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