AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW: Arsenal v Man City

Manchester City’s title defence has been a struggle so far but they can get back on the winning trail domestically with victory at Arsenal. Pep Guardiola’s men are 14 points adrift of Liverpool in the title race at time of writing, and six points behind the current second placed side Leicester City. Amazingly, they have only claimed seven points from their last five matches and their loss to Manchester United last week was their fourth of the season – they only lost four in the whole of the last campaign.

That might lead some to think that they’re not hitting the same level as they did last season, but the stats wouldn’t bear that out. On expected goals, they would be top of the table and that has been borne out by the numbers of their draws and defeats; when they dropped points at Newcastle (drew 2-2) they won the expected goals count 2.6 to 0.6 along with winning the shot count 24-9, and the shots on target count 9-3, and they also won the expected goals count in the Manchester Derby too.

That performance would have worried some, given how well Manchester United started there (and the visitors deserved their win) but they did also win the expected goals count there and finished the stronger team despite not being able to get a point, and they did win the shot count 23-12 even if they lost the shots on target count.

In midweek, a Gabriel Jesus hat-trick saw them to a 4-1 win over Dinamo Zagreb – just a week after another 4-1 win in the Premier League at Burnley (when Jesus was also heavily involved) and the facts tell us that they are not a team playing 14 points worse than last season by any means.

Arsenal v Man City
Premier League
16:30 Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD

(Maximum 10 matches, Since 2010)
FEB 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 3-1 Arsenal
AUG 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 0-2 Manchester City
MAR 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 0-3 Manchester City
FEB 2018 EFL CUP Arsenal 0-3 Manchester City
NOV 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 3-1 Arsenal
APR 2017 FA CUP Arsenal 2-1 Manchester City
APR 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 2-2 Manchester City
DEC 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 2-1 Arsenal
MAY 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 2-2 Arsenal
DEC 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 2-1 Manchester City

Arsenal won their first game under Freddie Ljungberg’s tenure with a 3-1 win at West Ham when a thrilling three-goal burst in nine minutes from Gabriel Martinelli, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang turned the game in their favour. That should give come much needed confidence for today’s hosts but it is worth remembering that West Ham have taken four points from their past nine league games and conceded three times in three successive home games.

It’s not easy to forget how flat they were against Brighton, or the pinball-style nature of their draw with Norwich, and City’s attack – likely to contain Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, and Bernardo Silva – will be looking to take plenty of chances made by midfield creator Kevin de Bryune.

Arsenal, in the shape of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – who has 11 goals in the Premier League this season – can target a City defence without either John Stones or Aymeric Laporte, especially if Mesut Ozil can find his best form.

This could be a game with plenty of goals, perhaps at both sides, but City come here ten points clear of Arsenal, having scored 20 more goals, and they can come out on top in a high scoring game here.

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