Arsenal - Manchester City
Thursday evening offers football fanatics a massive fixture in the Premier League with Arsenal hosting league leading Manchester City. Still going strong (pun intended) with Arsene Wenger at helm, Arsenal is sixth in the EPL, chasing the top-4 by 10 points and a game in hand. Manchester City on top has taken a 13-point lead over their rivals United, with also this game in hand.
Arsenal has once again been the letdown of the season, as they’ve not managed to put up a serious challenge against the top teams. In addition, they’ve recently lost to Swansea and Bournemouth, while drawing with the likes of WBA and West Ham. Safe to say, “Wenger Out” movement has never been stronger – despite the acquisitions of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in exchange for Alexis Sanchez.
Arsenal has won 13 and lost eight games, while drawing six. At home they’ve been a bit better, 3rd in Premier League actually. They’ve only lost once in Emirates, winning 10 of 13 and gathering 32 points. The Gunners have scored on average 2.77 goals at home, quite a contrast to abysmal record of 1.07 on the road. Defensively they’ve been solid at home as well, allowing only 1.08 goals.
Manchester City has done what was expected of them and Pep Guardiola has built a team that plays to its strengths. Which seems to be everything on the pitch. City has lost one game in the EPL all season, when Liverpool managed a 4-3 victory at Anfield midway through January.
Otherwise City’s spotless record is ruined by road draws with Burnley and Crystal Palace, but with 23 wins in 27 games they’re sitting far ahead on the top of the league. City is also a great away team, leading the league with 10-2-1 record on the road. They’ve scored 2.23 goals on average and allowed only 0.77 on their road games. The approach has been way more defensive on the road: at home City has scored 3.57 while allowing the similar 0.71 goals per game.
The teams met only a couple of days ago in Carabao Cup final on Wembley. Manchester City took the spoils with a confident performance 0-3 and left plenty of Arsenal fans fuming. City only shot three times on goal and scored three goals, yet none can be blamed on the Arsenal keeper. City completely outplayed Arsenal and it remains to be seen if the tables have turned come Thursday evening.
Both teams have a congested schedule ahead, as they’re playing another EPL game on Sunday and then in continental competition midweek: City hosts Basel after 0-4 victory in UCL on Wednesday and Arsenal travels to Milan for 1st leg of European League 2nd knockout stage for Thursday. However, it’s unlikely we see any unnecessary rotation in a top tier matchup like this.
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Manchester City comes out as clear favorites for their visit at the Emirates. In simulations, City wins with 63.9% probability, cementing their lead in the EPL. The game ends in a draw with 20.6% probability, while Arsenal is given only 15.6% chance to take all the three points at home. The value still lies with Manchester City, but the lines are moving fast so be quick to catch over 7% side value for the visitors!
We are likely to see some attacking football as Manchester City is likely to go for the jugular after gaining the upper hand in the previous game. In simulations the visitors score 2.59 goals on average and the home team Arsenal is likely to score as well, averaging 1.27 per simulations. Total is likely to go as high as 3.86 – despite both team’s impressive defensive records.
The most likely players to score a goal are the big guns up front, Sergio Agüero for City and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for Arsenal. Agüero scores with a 59% likelihood while Aubameyang finds the net with 40% chance. City’s support is strong with Raheem Sterling (36.76%), Leroy Sane (25.74%) and Kevin De Bruyne (24.62%). Arsenal somewhat lacks in that department, with only Aaron Ramsey closing in on 20% with 17.72 percent probability to score.
As the noose tightens around Arsenal’s neck, City are playing with no real pressure and took the minor domestic cup with ease just a couple of days ago ahead of their hosts. No matter how you look at this game, City is the most likely winner here. Check the best odds to play from oddsportal.com or similar!
- Manchester City to win, 63.9 % - take the home win with odds of 1.57 | -177 or better
- Over 3.0 goals, 54% - take over 3.0 goals with odds of 1.86 | -116
- Agüero to score. 59% - odds of 1.70 | -143
- Aubameyang to score, 40% - odds of 2.5 | +150
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