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Manchester City vs Arsenal Preview

Written by @Wayde_D for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

Manchester City vs Arsenal | Saturday 14 December | Etihad Stadium | 14:45

English Premier League leaders Arsenal’s tough December fixture list continues this weekend as they travel to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City. City sit fourth on the log, one point behind Liverpool and Chelsea, but the big spenders remain title favourites on the betting front, closely followed by their opponents on Saturday. Therefore, this clash could go a long way in deciding the title race come end of the season. A win for City is vital as it would cut Arsenal’s lead to just three points over them. Arsene Wenger will also be gunning a win as his team could pull nine points clear of their biggest competition.

To Win (90mins)
Manchester City 17/20
Draw 26/10
Arsenal 7/2

Manchester City
Manchester City’s shortcomings away from home were again exposed, as they had to settle for a point at Southampton last weekend. Dani Osvaldo’s excellent curling strike drew Southampton level after Sergio Aguero’s opener. That draw means the visit of Arsenal on Saturday becomes all the more important and City will hope to continue their perfect home record when they host the log leaders. City have been imperious, winning all seven home matches , scoring a mammoth 29 goals and conceding just two. Still, Arsenal will pose a significant threat this weekend. City hold an advantage in that they have already qualified for the next stage of the Champions League, making their fixture against Bayern Munich secondary, but Arsenal must avoid a three-goal defeat in Napoli to progress, so Wenger is expected field his first team. Manuel Pellegrini plans to play Joe Hart in goal ahead of new number one goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon for the mach in Germany and has admitted he will rest a number of other stars.

Arsenal missed the chance to take full advantage of slip-ups by title rivals Chelsea and Manchester City when they were held to a 1-1 draw by a battling Everton at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. They were not at their best. Still, they looked likely to claim three points when Mesut Ozil netted with 10 minutes remaining. That is, until Gerard Deulofeu grabbed a leveller for the visitors. Arsene Wenger went on to blame the officials after the match, claiming that several key aspects of the game went against his Arsenal team. “I believe the disadvantage of applying high pressure is that if you are not winning the ball back, you can be outnumbered. To make a foul without being punished by the referee is a huge advantage because after that you play ten against ten in one half again. I feel overall that’s maybe a new problem for the referees because everybody puts pressure on the opponents high up (the field) and, of course, on the condition that if they don’t win the ball back they foul.” There was then little time for Wenger and his squad to dwell on what might have been, as they face a trip to Napoli for their final Champions League group match before returning to tackle City at the Etihad and then face a showdown with their West London neighbours, Chelsea, on December 23, as the festive fixtures get into full swing. Arsenal have done well on the road this season, winning five of their seven matches, drawing one and losing once to City’s rivals Manchester United.

VERDICT: Manchester City 17/20
City only managed a draw in this match last season, but did win 2-0 away at the Emirates. They have an excellent home record averaging four goals a game and have conceded just twice in those seven matches. City are tipped to continue their dominance at the Etihad.

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