Football returns to England this week for the first time since early March. The Premier League is kicking off with two mid-week matches on Wednesday, including a much-anticipated clash between Manchester City and Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta is heading back to the Etihad to face his former boss for the first time since leaving in January. City haven’t been enjoying one of their finest seasons, losing seven league games already.
Pep Guardiola will be keen to finish the campaign on a high but with Arteta’s inside knowledge, can the Gunners shock the Champions?
Manchester City vs Arsenal – Premier League 2019/20
Where to Watch
Venue: The Etihad
Kick Off Time: 20:15 BST
Referee in charge: Anthony Taylor
TV Channel / Live Stream: This game will be live on the Sky Sports Main Event and Premier League channels. It’s also available to Sky Sports subscribers online or via the Sky Go app.
Manchester City vs Arsenal – The Form Guide
Manchester City had lost two of their previous four league games before the break leaving them 25 points behind leaders Liverpool. This included a painful 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford in their last outing which meant Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men did the double over their Manchester rivals for the first time since Sir Alex retired.
With seven league defeats, this is officially Guardiola’s worst season as a manager. His side are incredibly talented however and should be doing better.
Arsenal beat West Ham in their last league game before the break, but only just. Goalkeeper Bernd Leno was named man of the match pulling off a number of excellent saves to keep the Gunners in the game. This only highlights Arteta’s sides' poor defensive abilities, which will be punished.
Arsenal have also been enduring a poor season winning only 9 of their 28 league games. In saying that, they have climbed to ninth in the table, only five points adrift of fifth spot which might be enough to clinch Champions League football this year.
However, they lost 3-2 to Brentford in closed-door friendly last week which shows their defensive woes have not been solved.
What is the Team News?
There is plenty we don’t know about the fitness of players heading into this match, but we do know there are some returning faces.
Arsenal’s injury list has shrunk to only two; Sead Kolasinac and Calum Chambers. The likes of Shkodran Mustafi, Kieran Tierney, and Cedric Soares have all come back through injury to boost Arteta’s options.
Meanwhile, Pep welcomes back Leroy Sane who has been absent for most of the season to training. Kyle Walker is the only player who is not expected to be fit in time.
Manchester City Predicted Line-up: Ederson; Cencelo, Otamendi, Zinchenko, Mendy; Rodri, Fernandinho, De Bruyne; Sterling, Aguero, Bernardo Silva
Arsenal Predicted Line-up: Leno, Bellerin, Mustafi, Luiz, Bukayo Saka, Ceballos, Ozil, Xhaka, Lacazette, Aubameyang,
Manchester City vs Arsenal Latest Odds*
City will start this match as strong favourites. At bet365, you’ll get 4/11 (1.36) for a home win, while Arsenal are priced at a huge 13/2 (7.5). The Gunners have failed to beat City in the league since 2015, so the odds seem reasonable. However, with little time to prepare, anything can happen.
The draw is available at 17/4 (5.25) with bet365 which on balance, could be an interesting bet.
Manchester City vs Arsenal Score Prediction
City have no shortage of goal scorers in their side with 11 different players finding the net this season. Sergio Aguero remains their biggest threat with 16 league goals to his name this campaign.
Arsenal, on the other hand, have been relying on captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for goals. Only four players have found the net more than once for the Gunners which is a real concern.
The Gunners have also conceded five more than Wednesday’s rivals (31, 26) meaning it could be a rough first game back.
A 3-1 correct score to Manchester City at *10/1 (11.0) is our fancy.
Manchester City vs Arsenal Tip
City’s 10 clean sheets this season is third-best in the league, and they have kept two in their previous four. Despite this, they have looked cagey at the back so they can be broken down.
The Gunners have failed to score only once in 2020 and with Arteta’s unique insight into how Pep sets up, they could punish the hosts.
That being said, City are welcoming back players who have been missed. Kevin De Bruyne is likely to start and will be refreshed. City should be winning this game and as the odds suggest, by a decent margin.
*odds correct at time of writing.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What time is kick-off?
A: Kick-off is at 20.15 BST.
Q: Where can I watch live?
A: Sky Sports subscribers can watch it on the Main Event channel or on the SkyGo app. Highlights of the game will be shown on Match of the Day on BBC 1 late on Sunday evening.
Q: How many points are Manchester City ahead of Arsenal?