Manchester City v Arsenal Cheat Sheet
Manchester City v Arsenal
Manchester City take on Arsenal in the FA Cup on Friday night. These two teams look set to fight it out for the title this season but they are yet to face each other in the league. This clash could prove to be a psychological advantage ahead of what is going to be a key matchup this season.
Pep Guardiola’s side go into this one as favourites. They have the advantage of playing at home and their record against Arsenal has been exceptional in recent years. In the last 13 meetings between these sides, City have won 12 and Arsenal have won just once. The solitary victory for the Gunners came in the FA Cup final during Arteta’s inaugural season as boss.
Arsenal have drastically improved this season. They lead the way in the Premier League and have lost just three competitive games this season. The fans will be hopeful that their team can secure their first win at the Etihad since 2015. Beating City here and advancing to the next round would send a real statement that Arsenal mean business.
With what should be an enthralling tie, I have picked out my favourite 3 shots bets for Friday night. It’s worth noting that a combination of Pep’s roulette and a cup tie means I recommend waiting for team news until placing these bets.
Nketiah has been leading the line for Arsenal in the absence of Gabriel Jesus. There were fears that the team would falter without their influential forward but Nketiah has stepped up. He is averaging 4.1 shots per 90 minutes this season in the league; two of these find tend to find the target.
Since the World Cup, Eddie has had a shot on target in every match he has played. He found the net twice against Manchester United and is benefitting from playing in a well-oiled Arsenal team.
The Gunners have been comprehensively outplayed in recent visits to this ground so we are relying on them stepping up in this match. They have averaged just five shots per game across their last five matches at the Etihad. However, this season they are averaging 12.93 shots per game on the road. They also managed 16 shots when they were beaten at Old Trafford earlier this season.
The bookmakers have priced up City players extremely short for shots in this one but they should display a great deal of attacking intent. Pep slated his team after their lacklustre first half performance against Tottenham. They responded by thumping Wolves 3-0 but a win over the Gunners would do far more to ease the manager’s concerns.
Ilkay Gundogan is averaging 2.54 shots per 90 minutes for Manchester City this season. He has had a shot in his last 10 Premier League matches and is averaging 2.1 shots per game over that period. The midfielder has played 80+ minutes in City’s last two matches and while it’s never easy to predict the eleven Guardiola will field, he does look set for game time here.
Grealish looked lively against Wolves after a below-par performance against Spurs. He managed two shots on target and another off target. The England international found space at the far post on a couple of occasions and this could be an are that City look to overload against Arsenal. Jack scored from this position when he came off the bench in the recent defeat against Man United.
Jack averages 1.85 shots per game for City this season; with 33.3% of them finding the target. 1.91 for a shot on target looks like a good price for a player who has had 13 shots in his last five Premier League starts and his increasing confidence will hopefully mean that more find the target.
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* I recommend waiting for confirmed team line-ups before placing any bets *
* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing *