Manchester City v Arsenal: Blue Moon backed to blunt Gunners
The Premier League resumes on Wednesday with a mouthwatering match-up between Manchester City and Arsenal from the Etihad. Mark O'Haire previews the match and recommends a bet...
Manchester City v Arsenal Wednesday June 17, 20:15 Sky Sports
Manchester City aim to get back on track
Manchester City return to competitive action for the first time in over three months this midweek. Pep Guardiola's group were beaten 2-0 at city rivals Old Trafford in their last outing and trail runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool by a mammoth 25 points. Even so, the Citizens enjoy a 12-point cushion over fifth-place as league action resumes.
The Blue Moon haven't been the clinical conquering machine we've seen in previous campaigns, and City's inconsistency has meant the hosts have only twice achieved winning league streaks of three this term. And the Citizens have also failed to perform in the matches that matter against top-six rivals, pocketing just W3-D0-L5 in such showdowns.
However, Wednesday marks the beginning of a brand new mini-season and Guardiola will hope to hit the ground running. The Catalan coach can call upon the returning Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte but Claudio Bravo, Joao Cancelo, John Stones or Ilkay Gundogan haven't been involved in contact training and therefore look unlikely to feature.
Arsenal looking up under Arteta
Arsenal have suffered an element of upheaval this season with the sacking of Unai Emery and subsequent appointment of Mikel Arteta, but the latter appears to be navigating the Gunners away from the choppy waters they were in when he took charge in December. A degree of stability and direction has been restored.
Of course, Arsenal remain marooned in mid-table and five points adrift of Champions League qualification but the Gunners return to the field on the back of three successive Premier League victories and an unbeaten eight-match spell that dates back to the start of 2020 (W4-D4-L0). They kept four clean sheets during their upturn in form.
Arsenal head to Manchester on Wednesday without long-term injury absentees Calum Chambers, Lucas Torreira and Cedric Soares, although defenders Hector Bellerin, Kieran Tierney and Rob Holding have all been given the chance to return to full fitness during the enforced break and are available for selection.
Citizen's firm favourites
Defending champions Manchester City have won their last six fixtures against Arsenal across all competitions by at least a two-goal margin, averaging 2.83 goals per-game in the same sample. The Citizens have also returned a positive W5-D2-L1 record when welcoming the Gunners to the Etihad over the past decade in the Premier League.
Since the start of last season, City1.38 have only once been bigger than their current odds at the Etihad in the Premier League (they were 1.58 against Chelsea in February 2019) with the market clearly tempering home advantage. Nevertheless, the Citizens have W43-D4-L4 here since the beginning of 2017/18 with W10-D1-L2 earned against the Big Six.
Only Liverpool (1) have lost fewer Premier League games in 2019/20 than Arsenal (6) but the Gunners have been hindered by a league-high 13 stalemates. Arsenal9.20 have triumphed just twice on their travels (W2-D8-L3) and remain winless at Big Six clubs since visiting here in January 2015, a horrifying 26-game streak without success (W0-D10-L16).
City backed in goal-filled game
City matches are synonymous with goals. The Blue Moon have seen Over 2.5 Goals1.43 bank in 20/28 (71%) outings this season, a figure that increases at the Etihad with 10/13 (77%) fixtures breaking the two-goal barrier. Meanwhile, 13 of City's past 15 encounters here against Big Six opposition have also cleared Over 2.5 Goals.
Arsenal have recorded a solitary shutout in the aforementioned 26-game spell at big six clubs with 17 rewarding Over 2.5 Goals punters. The Gunners have improved their defensive efforts on Arteta's watch, but are likely to meet their match in Manchester. Even so, the visitors possess enough final-third quality to make their mark at the Etihad.
With that in mind, backing Manchester City to win and Over 2.5 Goals is an appealing offering at 1.73 with Betfair Sportsbook.