Despite history, Man City to beat Arsenal and both teams to score
Manchester City’s odds to beat Arsenal have rightfully shortened after the respective midweek Champions League excursions of the pair, but 4/5 on the home win at the Etihad does still look a juicy price worth biting into.
While Man City were winning away to Champions League holders Bayern Munich with a weakened team, Arsenal were losing in Napoli with what was largely their best available side.
Alongside the differences in confidence that these two results will bring, it could also be pivotal that Man City have profited from an additional day’s rest ahead of this lunchtime kick-off.
Man City’s home record cannot be quibbled this season in the Premier League, winning all seven by at least two goals and scoring 29 goals in the process.
To put this into context, only Man City’s fellow top-four members Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea have reached or surpassed this total across the entire Premier League season of 15 fixtures.
It is 2/1 that Man City successfully overcome a one-goal handicap for the eighth consecutive Premier League Etihad clash.
Looking back at the past history between the pair, one common theme is the inability of both teams to find the target in the same game.
Last season’s 1-1 draw at the Etihad is the only instance in the past nine meetings between the pair in all competitions in which both teams have scored.
Therefore, 11/8 could be deemed a fine price that both teams fail to score here, although there is a feeling that there will be no clean sheets at the Emirates this time.
Man City may have the best home record in the Premier League, but they are hosting the best away performers in the division in Arsenal, who have taken 16 points on the road in seven games and interestingly, they have only failed to score once.
With Mesut Ozil also liable to cause problems floating between the lines against opposition known not to have a true defensive midfielder, there is every possibility he will be able to influence the encounter and help Arsenal score at least once.
Man City winning a game in which both teams trouble the scorers may end up proving the best bet of this fixture at 12/5.
As for who may score any Arsenal goals, Ozil is yet to net for the Gunners away from the Emirates and given that Vincent Kompany is troubled by attackers that drop deep and then burst quickly in behind, Olivier Giroud is not a logical scoring choice either.
With Arsenal expected to have most joy on the break, this clash looks tailor-made for Theo Walcott to have a big impact and his prospects would seem even rosier should attacking Man City defender Aleksandar Kolarov start at left-back.
Walcott is yet to start for Arsene Wenger since returning from injury in November, but the fact that he didn’t feature at all in Napoli may intimate that he was being saved for this Etihad visit.
It is 8/1 that Walcott bags the opener and 11/4 that he scores at any time in the 90 minutes.