It’s still unclear how many Manchester City fans will be travelling to the Emirates due to the usual outrageous ticket prices Arsenal demand, but going by the history of recent matches between the two in London, maybe it’s a good idea they don’t make the trip.
The last time Manchester City won at Arsenal was 1975; they haven’t scored a goal at the Emirates since a 3-1 loss in 2007. Since the takeover that turned City into one of the richest clubs in the world, the record between the two teams is 3-3-3. This season Arsenal played a fine match in a 1-1 draw on September, but the 11 points between the teams should make them feel a tad wary going into the match.
Mikel Arteta nearly ruined City’s title hopes last season with a fantastic late goal to give the Gunners a 1-0 win at the Emirates, but the Spaniard is a lot less influential this season, moved back to a defensive midfielder role, where he’s struggling to show his defensive skills while not getting too much opportunities to stride forward and be a game changer.
His biggest concern in this match will be David Silva, who is in slightly better form in recent matches, finishing with three assists in City’s last five matches, but his inconsistency this season has been a big part of why the champions have fallen off in the title race, trailing Manchester United by 7 points.
Arsenal are struggling to find their form or a lineup Arsene Wenger is happy with. A 7-3 win against Newcastle if followed by a lackluster draw in Southampton. There’s no wonder the gunners are at sixth, but with two games in hand when compared with those who have played the complete fixture list up to this point.
While Manchester City and Roberto Mancini are more and more sure of who their strikers are – with Sergio Aguero injured, there’s no doubt it’ll be Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko, the question is a little different for Arsenal. Theo Walcott has played well on most occasions when given the front-man calling, but he hasn’t scored in three of the previous five matches. It doesn’t change the fact that even without the goals, as long as he doesn’t let the position (aka selfishness) go to much to his head, he’s more dangerous than anyone else Wenger has on his squad.
Predictions – Arsenal fail to show their impressive ability when facing quality teams, and City, despite the disappointing season, are a quality side. A draw or a narrow away win fits the bill in this one.