The upcoming Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City promises to be a highly competitive affair. Both teams have a lot to play for, with Arsenal looking to secure a long-awaited EPL title and Manchester City hoping to make a powerful statement of intent toward taking back the top spot and winning the title once more. The clash has so many stories but one key one is the battles between the coaches. Mikel Arteta who worked under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and both enjoyed great success together will be looking to get one over on his former boss. The battle is dubbed by some as the “The Student vs The Teacher”
Arsenal is on top of the table with 75 points and Manchester City is in second place with 70 points, however, Manchester City has 2 games in hand. Arteta and his men are definitely not in the best of form over the last couple of weeks and could not have chosen a worse time to have this bad patch. The five-point lead no longer looks like the comfortable cushion one would expect from such a gap. Arsenal have drawn in their last 3 games and the manner in which they have conceded goals is definitely something that would dent the confidence of this team heading into this massive tie.
Many are wondering after the reactions of the players after the last game if the mental aspect of this title race is coming into play. Depending on if you are a cynic or one of those most optimistic people it is definitely not a far-fetched conclusion for people to start wondering if Arsenal are going to “bottle it” as they say. Many could counter that argument by saying that Arsenal showed character to come back in some of those games, especially against Southhampton but even that seems like it is overshadowed by the way the “gunners” conceded in the first place. Arteta’s challenge it seems is to try to get the team to focus on the positive aspects of their play that got them where they are in the first place. Since it is very clear that teams now have the confidence to attack them and they seem far from steady at the back and will be rewarded for doing so.
Another thing that won’t help is that William Saliba is set to miss out once again with a lower back injury, many are speculating that Arteta might change tack in terms of personnel in defence. The form of Manchester City is something that does not favour Arsenal. Pep Guardiola’s City have won each of their last seven games against the Gunners in all competitions, including a 3-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium earlier this year and 1-0 in the FA Cup. To further add to this Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has lost all six of his Premier League games against Man City – they’re the only side the Spaniard has faced but failed to beat as a manager in the competition.
Manchester City will be looking to continue their impressive form. Now unbeaten in 16 successive matches across all tournaments – winning 13 of them – an in-form Manchester City who has been in this position before will feel confident in this scenario. While Pep Guardiola openly has stated his admiration for what Arteta is doing at Arsenal it is with complete certainty that on the matchday this will all go out the window and he will look to get the job done.
Key players to watch
Erling haaland – MANCHESTER CITY
Manchester City’s attack has also been firing on all cylinders, with their star forward Erling Haaland in excellent form. The Norwegian has scored 32 goals in the EPL this season so far and does not look like he is slowing down. Having also not playing in the World Cup last December has kept him fresh and fatigue combined with his youth all work in his favour. Twenty of these goals have come at the Etihad Stadium, the most home goals by a player in a season since 2007-08 when Man Utd’s Cristiano Ronaldo (Old Trafford) and Liverpool’s Fernando Torres (Anfield) each scored 21 Across all competitions in 2022-23, Haaland has scored 48 goals in 42 appearances – a record for a Premier League player across all comps in a single season. The striker has scored 38% of City’s 127 competitive goals in 2022-23
Gabriel Martinelli – aRSENAL
According to Opta’s data. Martinelli has been involved in 11 goals in his last 10 Premier League games for Arsenal (eight goals, three assists). Overall, he has 15 Premier League goals this season, the joint-most by a Brazilian player in a single campaign, along with Roberto Firmino in 2017-18.
Not only is Martinelli a goal threat in this Arsenal side, but he’s their most creative player in open play, too. Both his overall xG assisted (7.71) and xG assisted per 90 (0.27) from open play this season are the best of any Arsenal player to have played at least 1,000 minutes.
Man City: Ederson; Akanji, Stones, Dias, Laporte; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Haaland, Grealish.
Arsenal: Ramsdale; White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.
Man City’s recent form
Man City 3-0 Sheffield United (22/04) – FA Cup
Bayern Munich 1-1 Man City (19/04) – Champions League
Man City 3-1 Leicester (15/04) – Premier League
Man City 3-0 Bayern Munich (12/04) – Champions League
Southampton 1-4 Man City (08/04) – Premier League
Arsenal’s recent form
Arsenal 3-3 Southampton (21/04) – Premier League
West Ham 2-2 Arsenal (16/04) – Premier League
Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal (09/04) – Premier League
Arsenal 4-1 Leeds Utd (01/04) – Premier League
Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace (19/03) – Premier League
Predicting the outcome of a football match can be difficult, especially when two top teams like Manchester City and Arsenal face each other. Both teams have talented players and have shown contrasting forms in recent weeks.
However, based on their recent performances, Manchester City will be considered the favourites to win the match. They have been in excellent form, both defensively and offensively, and have been dominant in the Premier League this season. Additionally, they have a strong home record, having won 13 of their 16 league games at the Etihad Stadium this season.
Arsenal, on the other hand, have been inconsistent at times this season and have struggled against top teams. While they have fought back from some games that looked lost in recent games, they will face a tough challenge against a Manchester City side that is at the top of their game. Arteta and his men are more than capable of scoring against Pep Guardiola’s men but the key area that no one can ignore is the manner in which Arsenal have conceded goals in the last couple of games. It is very difficult to see a team that conceded goals against Southampton, West Ham and Liverpool will not concede against the attacking force of Manchester City. Individual errors will have to be addressed and eliminated for Arsenal to have a chance.
Therefore, it is likely that Manchester City will win the match. However, Arsenal cannot be ruled out completely and could potentially cause an upset if they can put in a strong performance and capitalize on any chances that come their way. Ultimately, it will come down to which team performs better on the day, and fans can expect an exciting and competitive match between two top Premier League teams. From looking strictly based on the data it looks like Manchester City will come out of this with a win.
The question many will be asking is will Arteta and his men “bottle it” or will they rise to the occasion against the machine that is Pep Guardiola and Manchester City?
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