Thursday, March 1 – 7:45pm Local time – Emirates Stadium, London.
They say the greater your storm, the brighter your rainbow, but for Arsenal, the EPL storm has only just began.
The Gunners are set to play host to Manchester City for the second time in five days, having welcomed the Citizens as the home team during the Carabao Cup final in Wembley, early Monday morning.
The inaugural cup final of the season was a harrowing experience for Gooners world over, as Arsenal were walloped 3-0 by a rampant Pep Guardiola side; their biggest defeat ever sustained in any cup final.
Much has been made of how Arsenal have lost six of their last eight appearances in the League cup final- even further on how Arsene Wenger has never won the competition – but it is their most recent display that has left plenty to be desired.
It wasn’t so much that Manchester City were brilliant on the night, seeing as we’ve been treated to more scintillating stuff over the season, but that Arsenal were just never in the match in any way, shape or form.
Despite fielding arguably the strongest possible eleven available, Arsenal’s mental frailties were evident from their spineless, rudderless display, a far cry away from Manchester City who were coasting through the game while on power saving mode.
The Sky Blues, evidently buoyed from winning their first trophy of the season, will make their way to the Emirates with their chins up as they look to secure their second silverware of the campaign, which could well and truly be the Premier League title.
Manchester United’s 2-1 victory over Chelsea saw the Red devils trim the gap to 13 points over the weekend, but their fierce city rivals have the chance to restore their luscious lead at the summit of the Premier League table, as they have a game in hand.
Arsenal’s fate on the other hand looks as grim as it can get, as they are mud stuck in sixth on 45 points, 8 points below fifth placed Chelsea and a whooping 10 [points] behind Tottenham Hotspurs in fourth, even though the Gunners still have a game in hand.
The hosts will be in dire need of a lift and Arsene Wenger will be pleased by the return of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who was cup-tied during the Carabao Cup final. The veteran manager will however make do without Nacho Monreal, Santi Cazorla and Alexandre Lacazette, all injured for the long haul.
His opposing number has Benjamin Mendy sidelined with injury but Raheem Sterling- who missed Monday’s final with a hamstring strain- could make a return to the starting line-up.
Fernandinho’s withdrawal during the second half of the League Cup final with a hamstring injury means the Brazilian will miss the trip to London. This is the biggest injury blow sustained by City this season, and the extent of the defensive midfielder’s absence remains to be seen, as Pep Guardiola has limited selection options in the position.
Sergio Aguero odds and specials
|Best Bet||Odds||Bet Now|
|Aguero to score anytime||$1.80 at WilliamHill||Place Bet|
|Aguero to score anytime/City to win||$2.50 at WilliamHill||Place Bet|
When Gabriel hit peak form at the start of the campaign, many gave Sergio Aguero little fighting chance against the young, vibrant forward who was clearly preferred by his manager.
Since injury struck the Brazilian in January however, Aguero has taken the opportunity in his stride, cementing himself as City’s leading man upfront. In fact, the Argentine has scored an impressive 15 goals since the turn of the year; more than Luiz Suarez , Cristiano Ronaldo  and Harry Kane .
The 29-year old is without question bound to continue with his rich vein of form against a susceptible Arsenal side.
The season has reached a focal point and Arsenal need to get their act together. As much as it is important, if not mandatory, for the Gunners to get a result against Manchester City, it’s hard seeing them getting anything out of the match.
Pep Guardiola wants to round up the League title in order to turn his unwavering attention to the Champions League, and what better way to do it than by securing all three points against an already wounded opponent.
Prediction: Manchester City to win – -138.89 on William Hill
Total Match goals Over 2.5 – $1.50 on Ladbrokes
Arsenal vs. Man City recent results
|November 5, 2017||Man City||3||Arsenal||1|
|Goal-scorers: Kevin De Bruyne 19′, Sergio Aguero 50′, Gabriel 74′, Alexandre Lacazette 65′|
|April 2, 2017||Arsenal||2||Man City||2|
|Goal-scorers: Theo Walcott 40′, Shkodran Mustafi 53′, Leroy Sane 5′, Sergio Aguero 42′|
|December 18, 2016||Arsenal||1||Man City||2|
|Goal-scorers: Leroy Sane 47′, Raheem Sterling 71′, Theo Walcott 5′|
|May 8, 2016||Arsenal||2||Man City||2|
|Goal-scorers: Sergio Aguero 8′, Kevin De Bruyne 51′, Olivier Giroud 10′, Alexis Sanchez 68′|
|December 21, 2015||Arsenal||2||Man City||1|
|Goal-scorers: Theo Walcott 33′, Olivier Giroud 45’+1, Yaya Toure 82′|
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