Arsenal will arrive at the Etihad Stadium nine points behind Manchester City on Sunday afternoon. The Gunners have won their last two Premier League matches, and have won three of the last six meetings against Manchester City in all competitions. An Arsenal win on Sunday could resurrect some hope of challenging for a Premier League title.
Can Arsenal win at the Etihad?
Arsenal have lost just once in six games against Manchester City. However, only one of those wins came against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
The Gunners won the teams’ most recent meeting, an FA Cup clash at Wembley last spring.
Making Arsenal’s chances of getting a win difficult on Sunday is the fact that Manchester City have kept 10 clean sheets in their last 12 Premier League matches. Pep Guardiola’s side have been in stellar form. They have scored 35 goals compared to just six conceded. However, last weekend West Brom were able to find a way through Manchester City’s typically solid defence.
Is Manchester City’s defence beatable?
The good news for Arsenal is the possible vulnerability of Manchester City’s defence. Manchester City have given up four goals in their last two matches in all competitions. There is a possibility Arsenal are playing Guardiola’s men just at the right time as fixtures pile up. Manchester City won their midweek Champions League fixture against Napoli, 4-2. However, Guardiola had to pick his regular XI for the fixture, while Arsenal fielded a side of reserves in Thursday’s Europa League clash.
Manchester City have had a litany of players in top form. Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva are tied for the league lead in assists with six. Raheem Sterling is second in the Premier League in goals (seven) and Leroy Sane has been in tremendous form scoring six goals. Meanwhile, Fernandinho has proven to be an important player this term for Manchester City. He has completed the second most pass in the Premier League (857). Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka leads the league in passes (869).
Arsenal have a top-class striker they will rely on for Sunday’s match. Alexandre Lacazette has tallied five goals this term. But Arsene Wenger has the option of playing Olivier Giroud as well. The Frenchman has appeared in nine games this season in the Premier League. However, all of them have come from the bench. Giroud has three goals in all competitions.
Whether Mesut Ozil or Alexis Sanchez can perform to former high levels against Manchester City is anyone’s guess heading into the clash.
A wide up Premier League?
An Arsenal win could blow up the Premier League title race as the holiday season approaches. If the Gunners take all three points, the team will be a mere six points back of Manchester City. Theoretically, Manchester United and Tottenham would draw closer as well; putting pressure on Guardiola’s men.
Manchester City have already qualified for the next round of the Champions League. Guardiola will have the fortune of resting key players in the final two matches of the group stage.