FA CUP

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR FOOTBALL PREVIEW Fri: Man City v Arsenal

Manchester City go face-to-face with Premier League title rivals Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday night.

City bounced back from a tricky start to the new year when they breezed past Wolverhampton Wanderers in their last Premier League outing with a hat-trick from Erling Haaland – surprise, surprise – firing Pep Guardioa’s side to a much-needed three points.

They still find themselves behind Arsenal in the race for the Premier League title and catching them will be the priority, but they if they don’t, they might face the prospect of a trophyless season so Guardiola will be keen for his side to progress in the FA Cup.

They have had not exactly had favourable draws, though, with City facing another ‘big six’ side in the last round in Chelsea, although they made that look very easy by putting four goals past Graham Potter’s hapless Blues.

Changes to the side are inevitable, but I still think City will put a strong side out there in the hope of progressing through to the next round and also proving that they have the beating of Arsenal.

Manchester City v Arsenal
FA Cup Fourth Round
20:00 ITV1 / STV / ITVX / STV Player

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
JAN 2022 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 1-2 Manchester City
AUG 2021 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester 5-0 Arsenal
FEB 2021 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 0-1 Manchester City
DEC 2020 EFL CUP Arsenal 1-4 Manchester City
OCT 2020 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal
JUL 2020 FA CUP Arsenal 2-0 Manchester City
JUN 2020 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 3-0 Arsenal
DEC 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 0-3 Manchester City
FEB 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 3-1 Arsenal
AUG 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 0-2 Manchester City

Arsenal were held off for a while in their third round tie against Oxford United, but ended up winning comfortable thanks to a goal from Mohamed Eleny and a brace from the in-form Eddie Nketiah.

They were involved in an absolute Premier League classic in a topsy-turvy 3-2 victory over Manchester United in their last match with Nketiah grabbing the all-important winning goal just as the clock struck 90. That restored five-point lead at the top of the Premier League table with Mikel Arteta’s men starting to show the swagger of potential league champions.

But now they must turn their attention to the FA Cup which they have won 14 times in their history with the Gunners’ most recent triumph coming against Chelsea in Arteta’s first year in charge in 2020. They are currently 8/1 to win the competition with starsports.bet.

Will Arteta deploy a strong, full-strength side in order to try and continue their fine history in the competition or will they decide that the Premier League title race is more important and rest players? That will be interesting to find out on Friday evening.

Reiss Nelson and Elneny, two fringe players who often feature in cup competitions, definitely won’t be involved due to injury and Cedric Soares is unlikely to feature as he continues discussions over a potential loan move to Fulham.

In a game between two sides with a lot of attacking quality, goals could be on the menu here. Manchester City’s defence can be got at as well – which was proved against Spurs and Manchester United – although I think they might just sneak through in this one with both teams scoring, which looks appealing at 11/5 with starsports.bet.

🗣️ Trader’s view: “Will be interesting to see how strong of a team Arteta puts out. Focus surely on the league but they obviously do like the FA Cup in recent times. Feel City might edge this one despite Arsenal’s good form, will be close though.”

JOE CITRONE


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