EPL Match of the Day Round 25 – Manchester City vs. Arsenal (2/3/19)

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The Citizens suffered a shock defeat to Newcastle in midweek and are desperate to bounce back against the Gunners who are chasing the Champions League football. The game between Manchester City and Arsenal will take place at the Etihad Stadium on February 3rd, 2019.

Manchester City vs. Arsenal

Three-Way: 1: Man City -333; X: +525 Draw; 2: Arsenal +900 at BetDSI Sportsbook

Spread -1.5: Man City -119; Arsenal +110

Total 3.5 goals: Over +100; Under -110

MANCHESTER CITY

Rocked by a surprise defeat at Newcastle, Manchester City will be eager to bounce back against Arsenal this weekend as they look to close the five-point gap on Premier League leaders Liverpool. That defeat ended a run of eight back-to-back victories for the Citizens. Notably, it’s still six clean sheets in their previous seven competitive games.

City can proudly boast the best home record in the PL (W11, L1). A large contributor to that has been their quick starts, scoring 15% of their home league goals inside the opening 15 minutes of matches. However, impressively, they are yet to concede inside the opening 15 minutes of any league game home or away this season.

They opened the scoring against Newcastle with Sergio Aguero’s quick goal after only 23 seconds of play but Rafa Benitez’s side continued to be disciplined and waited for their chances, and Salomon Rondon equalized in the 66th minute before Matt Ritchie scored from the penalty spot in the 80th minute to set the final result, 2-1 for the Magpies.

Pep Guardiola cannot count on Claudio Bravo (Achilles tendon injury) and Vincent Kompany (muscle), while Benjamin Mendy is questionable to face Arsenal due to a knee injury.

Betting Trends:

  • Sergio Aguero is in the midst of another one of his fine runs of form, netting three goals in his previous three games for City
  • City led at half-time in 71% of their league matches
  • City scored two goals or more in each of their last 12 home matches

ARSENAL

Arsenal comes up against the best attack in the PL having failed to keep an away league clean sheet all season. The Gunners’ fans can, however, take solace knowing they’ve scored in all but one of those away games. Therefore, it is unsurprising that nine of their 11 away games have seen over 2.5 match goals.

Arsenal lost all four of the previous competitive H2H meetings with City, with the home side winning two of those games by the same 3-0 scoreline. They suffered a 3-1 home defeat to the bitter rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup last weekend but managed to bounce back against Cardiff at home.

The Gunners did have trouble to open up the scoring and they needed more than an hour to do it but Pierre-EmerickAubameyang converted a penalty in the 66th minute to give Arsenal a 1-0 lead. Alexandre Lacazette doubled that lead in the 83rd minute, while the Bluebirds softened a defeat through Nathaniel Mendez-Laing who scored in the final seconds of injury time to make it 2-1 for Arsenal.

Unai Emery will be without Hector Bellerin (knee), Rob Holding (knee), Sokratis (ankle), and Danny Welbeck (ankle), while Ainsley Maitland-Niles (knee) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (ankle) are doubtful to play on Sunday.

Betting Trends:

  • Alexandre Lacazette scored the only goal for Arsenal the last time these sides met at the Etihad in November 2017, he also has two goals in his previous three games
  • Arsenal conceded 61% of their league goals in the first half
  • Arsenal have lost to nil in three of the last four H2H meetings

Manchester City won five out of the previous ten H2H encounters including the last four, while the Citizens were victorious in three out of the past five meetings at the Etihad. City is in an excellent home form of late as they scored even 24 goals in the last four games and conceded just one in return but they faced much weaker opponents and I am sure it’s going to be much harder against the Gunners, and that’s why I am backing Arsenal to cover the +1.5 spread.

MY PICK: AH +1.5 Arsenal (+110)

ADDITIONAL PICK: Arsenal scored at least one goal in each of their previous six visits to the Etihad and even though City managed to keep their net intact in the last four at home, I don’t think it will be the case here as they are facing in-form Aubameyang and Lacazette. The -120 odds on BTTS and over 2.5 goals are good enough to back it and that’s exactly what I am going to bet on this tilt.

MY PICK: BTTS and Over 2.5 (-110)