Arsenal vs Manchester City Preview, Betting Tips and Odds

Arsenal vs Manchester City Preview, Betting Tips and Odds

Arsenal vs Manchester City predictions for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final contest at Wembley Stadium.

FA Cup glory within touching distance
On Saturday evening at Wembley Stadium, the FA Cup’s most successful team takes on the competition’s current holders, as Arsenal go head-to-head with Manchester City for a place in 2020 final.

Remarkably, Arsenal lifted the FA Cup in three of the last six seasons, though City breezed their way to glory in last year’s competition after a 6-0 final win over Watford.

Saturday’s contest also sees the student take on the master, as former Citizens’ assistant and current Gunners boss Mikel Arteta tests his tactical acumen against the nous of Pep Guardiola.

Arteta’s game-plan failed in spectacular fashion when he last tried to outthink his former mentor, however. City roared to a 3-0 win over Arsenal on June 17 in the teams’ last Premier League encounter, and Arteta will need a much more potent strategy to avoid a repeat result in Saturday’s cup rematch.

Arsenal’s confidence boost
Ahead of their biggest game of the season on Saturday, Arsenal’s confidence was given a timely shot in the arm in mid-week, with a 2-1 win over newly-crowned Premier League champions Liverpool.

The Gunners were under the cosh for the majority of the game at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday evening, though glaring errors from the normally dependable Liverpool duo Virgil van Dijk and Alisson allowed Arsenal to overturn an early deficit before half time.

The victory, which followed hot on the heels of a crushing late derby defeat at Spurs, should restore a measure of self-belief for Arsenal before their date with Man City, though the Gunners’ dreadful recent record against the Citizens hints that they will need more than renewed resolve to triumph.

Both teams likely to register
Man City named Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez on the bench for their nervy 2-1 mid-week win over relegation candidates Bournemouth on Wednesday evening, while Arsenal kept leading marksman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in reserve for their game against Liverpool.

Each one of those match-defining superstars should be fresh upon their return to the starting XI for their respective teams at the weekend, and that in turn heightens the high goal-scoring potential in Saturday’s semi-final.

In addition, fixtures between Man City and Arsenal have consistently provided the goal-scoring goods in recent seasons, with the last 12 meetings between the big-hitters delivering 3.25 goals per 90 minutes on average.

City, who plundered a whopping 27 goals in nine fixtures since the restart last month, have been utterly dominant in games against the Gunners since 2017, and on Saturday the Citizens will be targeting their 8th straight victory over Arsenal in all competitions.

The free-scoring FA Cup holders hit three goals in six of their last seven encounters with Arsenal, and a similar outcome looks extremely likely on Sunday given the gulf in class between the teams.

The Gunners, who registered at least once in 14 of their last 15 games in all competitions, should be able to improve in one regard, however. Arsenal failed to score in five of their last six meetings with City, though their record during that aforementioned run suggests a consolation could be on offer.

City, averaging 3.0 goals since the restart, have the firepower to outscore their opponents at Wembley however, and with the aforementioned factors telling, the over 2.5 goals and both teams to score combination looks superb value for Saturday’s semi-final.

The Citizens, who bagged exactly 3.0 goals in 85% of their last seven skirmishes with Arsenal, look sharp enough in attack to notch another treble against the Gunners this week, making a 3-1 City victory a solid correct score prediction.

Key Battle: Kevin de Bruyne vs Granit Xhaka
With three goals in two appearances against them already this season, Belgian midfield maestro Kevin de Bruyne has enjoyed plenty of success against the Gunners since August last year.

The 29-year-old has notched an incredible 13 goals and 20 assists overall this term for Man City, and De Bruyne’s unique ability to both scores and create from deep positions marks him out as one of the Citizens’ biggest threats again this weekend.

Arsenal’s holding midfielder Granit Xhaka lasted just eight minutes of Arsenal’s last meeting with City after he was stretchered off injured, and the Swiss international was forced to watch on as de Bruyne tore his team to shreds.

Xhaka will hope his full availability will make a difference to the scoreline this time around, though the 27-year-old could struggle to contain a fully rested de Bruyne

Arsenal vs Manchester City team news
Arsenal is missing a large number of potential first-teamers for Saturday’s semi-final.

Gabriel Martinelli, Calum Chambers, Bernd Leno and Pablo Mari remain, long-term absentees, while young striker Eddie Nketiah is still suspended.

Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil are still out of favour, while Cedric Soares is cup-tied having featured for Southampton the FA Cup earlier in the campaign.

Arsenal predicted line-up: Martinez – Mustafi, Luiz, Kolasinac – Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Tierney – Nelson, Lacazette, Aubameyang

Pep Guardiola has almost a full squad to choose from for Saturday’s game, with Sergio Aguero the Citizens’ only injury absentee.

Claudio Bravo, favoured for all of City’s cup games, should start ahead of Ederson in goal, while Bernardo Silva, David Silva and Ilkay Gundgoan will all compete for spots in midfield alongside Kevin de Bruyne.

Manchester City predicted line-up: Bravo – Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Mendy – Rodrigo, de Bruyne, Gundogan – Mahrez, Sterling, Jesus
Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook
Loading...

Post a comment

0 Comments