Manchester City are set to host Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday in a highly-anticipated English Premier League fixture.
Manchester City come into this game on the back of a 1-1 draw against Leeds United in a pulsating encounter nearly two weeks ago.
Arsenal, on the other hand, beat Sheffield United 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium 10 days ago.
City won their opening game of the 2020-21 Premier League campaign but have picked up just one point from their subsequent two outings.
It has been a distinctly ordinary start to the campaign for the hosts, who go into the weekend five points and 10 places behind their visitors in the embryonic Premier League table.
Saturday will be the third matchday already this season that they have started in the bottom half of the table – as many as they had in their previous 375 outings, or almost 10 seasons, in the competition.
Reason for Manchester City vs Arsenal predictions:
- Both teams have scored in six of these teams’ combined seven Premier League matches this season.
- Both Arsenal and Manchester City have averaged exactly two goals per game this season.
- Alexandre Lacazette has scored in three of Arsenal’s four Premier League games this term.
Arsenal go into the contest having won eight of their last 12 Premier League outings – as many victories as they had achieved in their previous 28 top-flight games.
Arsenal have not beaten Man City in the league since 2015, though they have come out on top in two FA Cup semi-finals in the same period.
In all, the clubs have met on 200 occasions, with Arsenal winning 98, City 57 and the other 45 ending in draws.
In 36 previous encounters between the two sides, Manchester City hold the clear advantage. They have won 17 games, lost 12 and drawn seven.
The two clubs last met each other for the FA Cup semi-finals in July this year, with Arsenal beating Manchester City 2-0.
Manchester City are yet to find their form in the league, and have not looked at their very best. Pep Guardiola will hope that the potential return of veteran striker Sergio Aguero boosts the team, while it remains to be seen whether key players Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling are fit and available.
Man City have dominated this fixture in the league recently, winning the last six top-flight meetings and all by at least a two-goal margin – including 3-0 triumphs home and away last season.
Arsenal have not lost seven league games in a row against a specific opponent since a run against Ipswich Town stretching from 1974 to 1977, while their winless league run against City stretches back nine games to December 2015 – including four defeats from four at the Etihad in the Guardiola era.
However, they did win the most recent meeting in the semi-finals of the FA Cup last season and could now win back-to-back games against City for the first time in five years.
This is a very difficult match to call. Typically in recent years, Arsenal have looked like almost ideal opposition for the way Man City play, but that is changing with Arteta at the helm.
City are in poor form themselves too and the visitors will arrive at the Etihad with genuine belief that they can do a job on their hosts, as Leicester did. It is a match which could go either way, particularly with Man City missing so many key players through injury, so we’re sitting on the fence with an entertaining score draw.
Prediction: Manchester City 2-2 Arsenal