Arsenal v Manchester City Preview, Stats and Betting Tips, Sunday 25th February 2018, Wembley Stadium, Kick off: 16:30
Wigan provided the shock of the English football season so far when they knocked Manchester City out of the FA Cup. Although Pep Guardiola was upset after the final whistle at the DW Stadium, he’s refocussed his efforts this week to prepare his team for the EFL Cup final against Arsenal. City are the odds on favourites to lift the trophy at Wembley Stadium but they’ll know all about Arsenal’s excellent record in the FA Cup. The Gunners have won the FA Cup in three of the last four seasons and are looking to exploit any chinks in the Man City armour at the national stadium.
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Arsenal v Manchester City Head to Head Record
- Man City 3-1 Arsenal – 5th November 2017, Premier League
- Arsenal 2-1 Man City (AET) – 23rd April 2017, FA Cup
- Arsenal 2-2 Man City – 2nd April 2017, Premier League
- Man City 2-1 Arsenal – 18th December 2016, Premier League
- Man City 2-2 Arsenal – 8th May 2016, Premier League
Arsenal v Manchester City Preview
Pep Guardiola kept telling the media that Man City couldn’t win an unprecedented four trophies but he took zero pleasure from being proven right on Monday. There is no doubt that Man City are the best team in the country and it’s just a matter of time until they win the Premier League but make no mistake, their pride was dented at the DW Stadium.
Their failed FA Cup campaign is the fifth tournament that Guardiola has failed to win so far in his time in English football. Playing eye catching football is one thing but great teams are judged on the amount of silverware they win.
There are few areas where Guardiola and Jose Mourinho agree but the Man City manager has taken a leaf out of his rival’s book by prioritising the EFL Cup this season. It’s not only a chance to rediscover that winning feeling but a February final provides a timely boost to morale.
The EFL Cup has also become increasingly important for Arsene Wenger. He’s never lifted the trophy in his time in English football, despite being the most successful manager in the history of the FA Cup. For most of his time at Arsenal he’s had bigger fish to fry but with the Gunners out of the FA Cup and struggling for a top four spot, Wenger’s been forced to concentrate on the EFL Cup and the Europa League.
The Frenchman does have a wonderful knack of getting it right at Wembley (look at Arsenal’s win over Man City in the FA Cup semi final last season) but could this be the absolute worst time to face Guardiola’s men?
Relevant Stats, Injuries and Suspensions
Although Man City suffered a blow on Monday they have had at least had plenty of time to prepare for the EFL Cup final. Arsenal, on the other hand, were in Europa League action on Thursday night. There’s a chance that will leave the Gunners with some tired legs in a squad that’s already missing Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla.
Mesut Ozil should return to the team following illness, however, new signing, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, is cup tied having made a substitute appearance for Manchester United.
Guardiola is hoping to welcome Gabriel Jesus back into the Man City squad following a knee injury. Fabian Delph will miss out as a result of the red card he picked up against Wigan though.
Arsenal’s impressive record at Wembley is worth bearing in mind but so is the fact that the Gunners have won just three Premier League games away from the Emirates this season. They’re also winless against the league’s top four, a run that includes a 3-1 defeat against Man City at the Etihad.
Arsenal v Manchester City Tips
There is never a good time to face this Man City team but Sunday could well prove to be a particularly bad time for Arsenal to face them. There’s likely to be an air of a wounded animal about City who look incredibly motivated to win their first trophy under Guardiola.
Arsenal’s record at Wembley and the fact that they are among the Premier League’s top scorers should see them find the net. However, it’s Man City who are most likely to come out on top so take the 7/4 that Ladbrokes are quoting on City winning and both teams scoring. For a bigger payout on that result, bet on a repeat of the 3-1 Man City scoreline from November which is 10/1 with Coral.
Kevin De Bruyne had to watch most of Man City’s defeat against Wigan from the bench. He was just as frustrated when he took to the pitch as he couldn’t make a difference. Expect the Belgian to rid himself of those frustrations with a commanding performance on Sunday and back him to score anytime at 11/4 with Betfair.