Manchester City v Arsenal
Sunday 18th January, 16.00
The tastiest dish on this weekend’s Premier League menu sees Arsenal travel north to take on Manchester City.
A quick look at the history of fixtures between these two highlights two things: expect Man City to dominate – and there to be plenty of goals.
Why so? Well, in the last five fixtures between the pair there has been an incredible 19 goals – an average of nearly four per game. Although it has to be said that record has been skewed somewhat by the 6-3 goal fest these two enjoyed at the Etihad Stadium last season.
It’s Man City’s dominance over the Gunners on their home soil that is the most eye-catching slice of history. They’re unbeaten in five – winning three and drawing two, with Arsenal’s last victory at the Etihad coming way back in October 2010.
So let’s take a look at this season’s stats to see if we can expect Man City to thrive once again.
It’s Man City’s home form in 2014/15 that has propelled them into contention for the title at the halfway point of the season. Their record in their last five games – W-W-W-D-W – shows that they mean business when on their own manor.
For Arsenal the polar opposite is true. Their recent away form – W-L-D-W-L – belies a side that is just three points from third place in the table.
The answer to the formbook lies in the comparative goals stats of the two sides:
Average goals per game: 2
Average goals against per game: 0.9
Under 2.5/Over 2.5: 40%/60%
Average margin: +1.1
Average goals per game: 1.5
Average goals against per game: 1.4
Under 2.5/Over 2.5: 45.5%/54.5%
Average margin: +0.1
Average time of first goal: Man City 41st minute, Arsenal 34th minute.
As you can see, it is Man City’s attacking prowess – and the Gunners’ relative defensive frailties on the road – that are likely to settle this one. It’s worth noting that that Manuel Pellegrini will be hampered by the loss of Yaya Toure to African Cup of Nations duty….although he is set to welcome back top scorer Sergio Aguero from injury.
Let’s take a closer look at the corners stats for the two sides:
Average corners for per game: 8.7
Average corners against per game: 4.4
Under 10.5/Over 10.5 corners: 20%/80%
Average total per game: 13.1
Average margin: +4.4
Average corners for per game: 6.1
Average corners against per game: 4.5
Under 10.5/Over 10.5 corners: 54.4%/45.5%
Average total per game: 10.6
Average margin: +1.5
Let’s take a closer look at the cards stats for the two sides:
Average card points for: 26.5
Average card points against: 24
Cards for: 23 yellow, 1 red
Cards against: 18 yellow, 2 red
Under/Over 35.5 points: 40%/60%
Average card points for: 29.5
Average card points against: 27.7
Cards for: 29 yellow, 1 red
Cards against: 27 yellow, 1 red
Under/Over 35.5 points: 18.2%/81.8%
Sergio Aguero played the last 25 minutes in his side’s stalemate with Everton on Saturday, and is likely to start in this encounter. He has bagged six goals at the Etihad so far this campaign, with two of those being the first of the game and two the last. With Arsenal’s defence looking leaky, the Argentine is a good bet to trouble the scorers once again.
More of an outside bet is Frank Lampard. The veteran midfielder has popped up with goals this season, with his two goals at home both being the last of the game. His introduction as an impact sub gives him a great chance of netting last.
Arsenal will be looking to their talisman Alexis Sanchez to fire them to glory in this one. Of his four goals on the road this campaign, three have been the first of the game. With Arsenal’s happy knack of scoring first in games this looks a tidy punt.
Another Arsenal man in red hot form is Santi Cazorla. The Spaniard has netted twice on the road this campaign, and he has recently taken over free kick and penalty taking duties. He’s a decent outside chance to bag first in this encounter.
Man City to win 2-1 – 7/1
Man City win and Sergio Aguero scores anytime – 13/10
Frank Lampard to score last – 6/1
Alexis Sanchez to score first – 13/2
Santi Cazorla to score first – 12/1
Over 10.5 corners (medium chance)
Over 35.5 card points (strong chance)
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