English Premier League – Arsenal v Manchester City

Arsenal v Manchester City – Sunday 13th January – Emirates (18:00)

Arsenal v Manchester City

It’s a Super Sunday as Arsenal and Manchester City contest the other mouth-watering clash of the day. Champions Manchester City are trailing their city rivals by seven points and any more slip ups will only pile on more pressure. Arsenal have improved on their results and are now just two points off a Champions League spot after going unbeaten in their last five league fixtures.  

Arsenal are now sixth on the table after winning four league matches in a row before drawing their last one at Southampton. There is now genuine optimism for the second half of the campaign as the Gunners are back within striking distance of the top four and ready to tackle Bayern Munich for a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. The Gunners produced two goals in the last ten minutes to seemingly wrap up victory in the FA Cup third round against Swansea last weekend, but they were denied by the Swans in the 87th minute as the sides settled for a thrilling 2-2 draw. Arsenal have been superb at times this season and in their last home match they thrashed Newcastle 7-3. Walcott bagged an impressive hat-trick in that match and he will be relishing a chance to shine in his preferred central attacking role against the champions.

After losing to derby rivals Manchester United and then the following week to Sunderland, City come into this game with three consecutive wins and 10 goals scored in those games. It would therefore appear that any reservations Roberto Mancini had about his strikers have been settled. The Etihad club remains second in the league, trailing Sir Alex Ferguson and the Red Devils by seven points. The good news for City fans is that the players, according to captain Vincent Kompany, are not worried. The Belgian international centre-back has stressed the self-belief in the club’s dressing room and is confident he and his team-mates can repeat last season’s end-of-campaign heroics, when they overturned a similar deficit. Manchester City booked its place in the fourth round of the FA Cup with a comfortable 2-0 win over Watford at the Etihad Stadium. A major blow, and one that set them back last season, is the loss of influential midfielder Yaya Toure to the Africa Cup of Nations. Along with brother Kolo, the two will be missing for a month as City face an important run of games in the league. City will be hoping Sergio Aguero will fully recover from his hamstring injury for this match. The Argentine limped off in the 3-0 win over Stoke on New Year’s Day and was ruled out of Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Watford but Mancini has stated that Aguero should be back for this encounter. The sky Blues have only won half of their 10 away games, drawing four and losing one.

Manchester City have not won away to Arsenal in the league since 1976, that’s a 27 game unbeaten home run for the Gunners. Last season Arsenal managed a 1-0 win in this fixture before drawing 1-1 at City’s ground. They are tipped to continue their impressive record over City with a win here.

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