The contrast could not be starker-Manchester City with money to burn and the Arsenal board as ever keeping a tight hold on Arsene Wenger’s purse strings. However, a look at the latest Premier League table reveals that the Gunners are third on goal difference, with just the one conceded in four games, the best in the division. City too have eight points, but have already let in six goals, a worry for Roberto Mancini ahead of Sunday’s clash at the Etihad Stadium.
Home form was a key factor in City’s title campaign last season, and in all they have collected 76 from a possible 78 points, a staggering statistic. Traditionally though, Arsenal have been their nemesis in the past, having won 21 of the 30 meetings between the two sides since the Premier League began, and indeed the Gunners left with all three points on no less than eight of the first nine fixtures.
City have turned things around since being re-invented though, and won the corresponding game last season 1-0, while also repeating the feat at Emirates. However, in the past Arsenal have relied heavily upon Robin van Persie as the outlet, and since he has left they have looked much more of a team, with summer signing Lukas Podolski extremely influential both in starting and finishing moves. Santi Cazorla looks a snip as well, and indeed both players would easily fit into the City side as well.
In addition, Pat Rice’s replacement Steve Bould has worked wonders with a defence that has looked much more confident this season, and that is reflected by the fact that they have conceded just that solitary goal in the 6-1 drubbing of Southampton last week, and that only happened thanks to a mistake by the keeper. The momentum began with a very impressive 2-0 victory over Liverpool at Anfield earlier, and although they did leak another goal away at Montpellier in midweek, that was a penalty, and Arsenal still emerged with a win against the French champions.
The Gunners will therefore approach Sunday’s game with much more confidence than last season when a weakened line-up due to injuries did not help the cause, and will be confident of inflicting a rare home defeat on City, who will have to do without the services of Samir Nasri. The Frenchman limped off with a hamstring injury against Real Madrid and will be out of action for the next few weeks.
Manchester City are not used to losing at home, but if Arsenal defend high and attack at speed, an away victory is on the cards, with a 0-2 scoreline not out of the question.
Manchester City v Arsenal Odds
View the best odds for the Manchester City v Arsenal game below, can Arsenal steal an away win or will Manchester City’s home form stall Arsenal’s resurgence?