Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
Arsenal V Manchester City
Monday 21st December. 8PM. Sky Sports 1
It’s Christmas week, but the only thing on Arsene Wenger and Manuel Pellegrini’s lists will be three points from Monday night’s mouth-watering encounter at the Emirates.
Whoever wins this clash could well finish the calendar year on top of the pile, which could be a huge factor psychologically. Whatever happens, it should be an explosive affair from start to finish, and we’re certain that the two teams will provide a level of drama befitting this occasion.
Bring it on!
Gunners Looking To Fire Huge Warning To Main Rival
It’s been a rollercoaster ride at times in the opening half of the campaign, but Arsenal are looking in great shape ahead of the busy festive period. As well as their incredible rescue mission in Europe, they’ve also put themselves in a great league position. All of this in spite of a long list of absentees.
However, those injuries will be a cause for concern against the Citizens. As well as notable injuries to the likes of Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla, the Gunners are also likely to be without attacking start Alexis Sanchez.
Wenger will be pleased to see Olivier Giroud scoring goals while Aaron Ramsey’s form has been pleasing too.
However, the Welshman’s defensive capabilities have come under scrutiny and this could potentially cause problems against an equally formidable opponent.
However, the Gunners have won five of their last six home games, which have included wins against Manchester United and Bayern Munich. Confidence will be high, and if Mesut Ozil can pull the strings from the No.10 role, the hosts could be in for plenty of joy here.
Citizens Out To Show Title Credentials
Like Arsenal, Manchester City have endured some difficult moments this season. However, they remain very much in this title race and Pellegrini’s men could really seize the initiative with three points in north London.
Despite some wobbly performance, the visitors are in good form having won four of their last five competitive matches. However, injuries to key personnel, including skipper Vincent Kompany have magnified their weaknesses. If star man Sergio Aguero fails to make it back in time for Monday’s encounter, it could have a huge impact too.
City do still possess some quality players, though, and will be extremely pleased to see David Silva back in action. Meanwhile, summer signings Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling look set to cause real problems for the home side too.
If the visitors play as they can, they are more than capable of making it four trips to the Emirates without defeat. Whether they can bring their A game is another question altogether. Either way, prepare yourselves for fireworks.
Arsenal V Manchester City Betting
This is a clash between two great sides but, with home advantage on their side, Arsenal are the slight favourites at 29/20 with Bet365. The visitors meanwhile can be backed at 2/1 and the draw is available at 5/2.
It’s a tough contest to predict, at least until the team sheets are named. However, problems in both defences can be capitalised upon by the respective oppositions. Even if a few notable faces are missing, both teams will fancy their chances of scoring.
Neither team will want to lose this, but we can’t see it being 0-0. Therefore, we’re backing both teams to score.[quote_center]BTTS @ 4/7 with Bet365[/quote_center]
While we’re not overly confident on a Manchester City win, Arsenals’ central midfield could be a real cause for concern. Quite frankly, Yaya Toure must be licking his lips in anticipation.
The Ivorian isn’t as consistent as he was two or three years ago. However, there is no doubting his quality. If given the license to boss the park by the Gunners midfield, he could be key to an away win.[quote_center]Yaya Toure to be named Man of the Match @ 12/1 with Betfred[/quote_center]