Premier League Betting: Arsenal v Man City - Fan v Fan Preview



Arsenal perspective: James McNicholas, Gunnerblog.

Team news

Olivier Giroud faces a late fitness test over his participation on Sunday, but even if he passes I only expect him to make the bench. Theo Walcott is set to start as the central striker, ahead of signing a new contract to keep him at the club. Beyond that, Abou Diaby and Andre Santos are both available for selection again, although neither will be ready to start.

Form

Arsenal are unbeaten in the league since the home defeat by Swansea on December 1. However, in that period we've conceded two goals against Reading, three against Newcastle, and two in last week's FA Cup tie against the Swans.  We will need to defend better against an opponent as dangerous as City.

Head-to-head

City haven't won at Arsenal in 27 games, and have not even scored at the home of the Gunners since a strike by DaMarcus Beasley in 2007. However, with Manchester United threatening to pull away, surely they need to take something from this crucial match.

Best bets

Theo Walcott to score first at 7.75. That's a great price for a player likely to start at centre-forward for the home side.

Under 2.5 goals at 2.10. Clashes between these two sides are typically low-scoring affairs, and despite Arsenal's defensive troubles I don't expect Sunday to be any different.

Aaron Ramsey to score at 6.5. The Welshman played a key role in the 1-1 draw between these two teams at the Etihad, shackling the forward runs of Gael Clichy. I think that performance, along with a decent display last week at Swansea, could earn him another start against the Citizens. He's due a goal, and this would be a great time to get it.

Score prediction: Arsenal 1-1 Man City (7.00)

Predicted side

Man City perspective: Ric Turner, Blue Moon MCFC.

Team news

City’s squad is somewhat depleted ahead of the visit to the Emirates on Sunday. The Toure brothers and Abdul Razak are away on international duty, representing the Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations, whilst Samir Nasri completes a three match suspension after being sent off at Carrow Road. Sergio Aguero joins Aleksandar Kolarov, Maicon, Jack Rodwell and Micah Richards in the treatment room.

Form

After a disappointing start to December, our recent form has been relatively good. The Blues have won their last three games (against Norwich, Stoke and Watford) following the lacklustre defeat at the Stadium of Light on Boxing Day. We can’t afford to lose any more ground on league leaders United.

Head-to-head

Our overall record against Arsenal is shocking, with just 34 victories in 150 games. Our recent form away at Arsenal in the league is even more alarming; we haven’t won there since 1975 and have only picked up four points from a possible 45 in the Premiership era. Some minor comfort can be taken from a 1-0 League Cup victory in North London last season.

Best bets

Under 2.5 goals at 2.10. During Roberto Mancini’s time as manager we have failed to score a single league goal at the Emirates.

Arsenal win at 2.55. Unfortunately I can't see us winning this one. Our absences will be sorely felt against such an attacking side.

Both teams to score - 'No' at 2.30. These are usually very tight games, and these odds are very generous.

Score prediction: Arsenal 1-0 Man City

Predicted side