Pivotal Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal tickets available from Tixdaq.com
Bet on Arsenal with Sportingbet.com and get a free bet worth up to £50
Tonight at 19:45, Arsenal take on Manchester City in the Premier League at Emirates Stadium.
It’s 2nd v 3rd as two title contenders weigh each other up, but which could deliver the knockout blow this evening?
Neither. There’s plenty of time left in the Premier League title race and I’m avoiding unnecessary hyperbole.
I’m Leroy Paine.
This is a match that either team could feasibly win, lose or draw.
With Arsenal having lost three home games to West Bromwich Albion, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur respectively, defeat against Manchester City is certainly not out of the question.
However, it all depends on how Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini approaches the game tactically.
If he believes in his team’s championship winning credentials, he will play an intelligent counter-attacking strategy against Arsenal. Otherwise he will play the same dour style that secured a 0-0 draw with Manchester United.
City had hardly any conviction that day, and were eager to settle for a point from the off. It was as if their inferiority complex to their closest rivals meant that avoiding losing to them was the most important thing.
It would appear that things have changed now, for Manchester City are in second place in the Premier League – and deservedly so.
They can be backed at 31/10 for a win with Sportingbet.com , which is excellent value indeed when you consider their awesome form in the festive period.
With David Silva and Mario Balotelli ruled out of contention due to injury, it is likely that Adam Johnson and James Milner will start on the flanks for City. They can be backed as first goalscorer of the match at 12/1 and 16/1 respectively at Sportingbet.com – or 21/5 and 11/2 each to score at anytime.
Personally I would opt for Adam Johnson here. Although the odds are more generous for Milner to score, he is yet to open his account this season, and hasn’t managed to recapture the form he showed at Aston Villa playing in central midfield.
Johnson has started just seven games for Manchester City this season in the Premier League, but has three goals. He has also scored twice from six starts in the UEFA Europa League, and lining up opposite the recently suspect Gael Clichy on the right hand side of Man City’s attack he could get his chance here.
Still, Arsenal have a more than decent chance themselves.
Though the game at Eastlands was made decidedly easier for them when Dedryck Boyata was sent off after just five minutes, the fact that Arsenal triumphed 0-3 at Eastlands was still damn impressive by anyone’s standards.
After all, no other team has beaten Manchester City by more than one goal since Everton in March, and only Spurs’ 3-0 win at White Hart Lane in December 2009 matches Arsenal’s victory in recent Premier League history.
Roberto Mancini has certainly made his team hard to beat, but there are a number of Arsenal players in fine form.
Theo Walcott is having the best season of his life, with nine goals in eighteen first team appearances this season. He has started just nine of those matches – making that strike rate even more impressive.
Walcott’s form has meant he has found himself first choice in recent matches against Chelsea and Birmingham, and can be backed with Sportingbet.com to be the game’s first goalscorer at 9/1 or to score at anytime at 13/5.
Even if Manchester City do play the counterattacking game that has worked so well for Chelsea in the past, the Gunners proved in their last match against the Blues that if they press from the front they can still emerge victorious.
It was indication that Arsene Wenger does change his tactics depending on the opposition – despite his critics accusing him of not doing so.
This might prove the difference against Manchester City.
Who is your money on?
Fancy a flutter? Join Sportingbet and get a free bet worth up to £50! There are countless markets to bet on including which team will win, the first goalscorer, the correct score or even the time of the last goal. You can also try your hand at an accumulator and try to win big from a small stake. So visit Sportingbet.com and register now to put your money where your mouth is.