It was all looking so good earlier this season for both Manchester City and Arsenal. The former had won their first 10 games in all competitions under Pep Guardiola, while the latter went 14 games in the league without losing.
But as we approach the second-half of the season, it’s Chelsea who have stormed ahead of their rivals in the race for the Premier League title.
And that’s bad news for the Citizens and the Gunners, who meet on Sunday at the Etihad, for arguably both sides’ biggest match to date.
As things stand, the home side are ten points behind Antonio Conte’s men in the table. Granted, City do have a game in hand over the Blues, but if they lose to Arsenal this weekend, they’ll have it all to do in the next few months to overturn such a huge defict.
Likewise for the Gunners.
Right now, they’re nine points off top-spot, despite defeating Chelsea 3-0 earlier this season. And while they’ve only lost two games so far this campaign, failure to leave Manchester with a least a point would see Arsenal’s outright odds drift considerably.
In short, this really is a game neither side can afford to lose.
And that would usually leave us backing the draw, but if there were two managers in world football who would never set their side out to play for a point, then it’s this pair.
In that case, we’re expecting a tense affair with plenty of goalmouth action. It’ll then come down to who takes their chances.
City, however, will be without their main striker, Sergio Aguero – with the Argentine still out of contention through suspension.
That’ll be a massive blow to Pep’s hopes of winning this one – as not only is Aguero the club’s top scorer this season by some distance, he’s also netted more goals against the Gunners than any other City player since he arrived at the Etihad in 2011.
His replacement will likely be Kelechi Iheanacho. Though the 20-year-old has shown glimpses of brilliance since bursting onto the scene last year, he’s certainly no Aguero.
He will pose a different threat to the Arsenal defence, but it’s one Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel should be able to deal with. It’s 4/1 for the Nigeria international to open the scoring, but we’re looking elsewhere in that market.
Alexis Sanchez has been in fine form this year for Arsenal, and has already netted 12 goals for the Gunners, with five of those strikes coming first in the game. At 11/2, the Chilean represents great value to get the visitors off to a flyer.
It’s surprising to see City priced up as such clear favourites in this one at Evens, especially when you consider that they’ve not defeated Wenger’s men in their last six meetings in all competitions.
5/2 says Arsenal make it three wins from their last four games against the Citizens.
But this one has got goals written all over it. Both sides rely heavily on their attacking threat, and the pair can only speak of one clean sheet in their last 18 matches combined.
Click here for a full list of Man City v Arsenal odds.
All odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing