Manchester City vs Arsenal: Top Two Turn Attention to FA Cup

Written by: Greg Lea
Updated January 24, 2023
5 min read
  • Manchester City are the sportsbook’s favorites to win the FA Cup in the 2022/23 season

  • Arsenal are the most successful side in the history of the FA Cup with 14 triumphs

  • Goals on the cards as the Premier League’s top two meet for the first time this term

Manchester City vs Arsenal Odds

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Total Goals

Odds

Over 3.5

+170

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Under 3.5

-220

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Manchester City vs Arsenal Pick

Both managers could rotate their teams but we still anticipate an entertaining encounter at the Eithad Stadium.

Back over 3.5 goals when Manchester City face Arsenal on Friday.  (+170)

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Manchester City vs Arsenal Prediction

Manchester City vs Arsenal Predictions

Manchester City Out to Show Arsenal They Are Still the Top Dogs

Before the 2022/23 campaign got underway, the reasonable assumption was that Manchester City and Liverpool would go head-to-head for the Premier League title once again. That was the view held by soccer commentators and the best online sportsbooks alike, with no one really foreseeing the slump that has left Liverpool in ninth place at the halfway stage of the season.

Yet although City are indeed in contention for the title, they are not the front-runners at the end of January. That honor goes to Arsenal, who have exceeded everyone’s expectations to sit at the summit of the standings. A team that was not widely expected to even make the top four this season is now daring to dream of an improbable title triumph.

Most neutrals favor the underdogs of Arsenal, so Manchester City will be happy to take up the role of party poopers for the remainder of 2022/23. Strangely, the two teams are yet to meet this term, with the first scheduled clash between them having been postponed in October to make room for one of Arsenal’s Europa League group games.

Friday’s FA Cup tie is therefore the first time Manchester City will come face-to-face with Arsenal since last season. It is an opportunity for Pep Guardiola’s side to make a statement of intent and fire a warning shot at Mikel Arteta’s men. City will be determined to prove that they are still the top dogs in English soccer.

There is also the small matter of the FA Cup, a tournament City have arguably not won as often as they should have under Guardiola, with just one triumph in his tenure to date. Knocking out Arsenal would remove one of their biggest fellow contenders for the trophy.

Arsenal Must Play Tricky Balancing Act for Remainder of Season

Arsenal are out of the EFL Cup, but they are fighting for silverware on three different fronts. The north London outfit have been handed the toughest possible draw for the fourth round of the FA Cup, but a victory on Friday would arguably make Arsenal the favorites to win the competition for a record-extending 15th time.

Arsenal are also through to the knockout phase of the Europa League, which resumes next month. The winners of that tournament qualify automatically for the group phase of next year’s Champions League, which is one of the reasons why Arsenal originally planned to take it so seriously.

But given how well they are doing in the Premier League, it will be interesting to see how Arteta approaches secondary tournaments - starting at the Eithad Stadium on Friday. 

The Arsenal boss must at least be partly tempted to put all his eggs in the basket marked ‘Premier League’. After picking up 50 points from their first 19 matches this season, the Gunners have a fantastic chance to win the title for the first time since Arsene Wenger’s side went a whole season unbeaten in 2003/04.

Arsenal do not have the deepest squad in the division and many managers in Arteta’s position would opt to rest the likes of Thomas Partey, Martin Odegaard, and Bukayo Saka for this FA Cup tie.

But because Arsenal are facing a direct rival for the title, a defeat could have repercussions for their Premier League campaign. And there is something to be said for momentum, so it would be a risk for Arsenal to write off this game when they are in such excellent form.

Expect Goals and Entertainment in This Fourth-Round Clash

Although Arsenal are above them in the Premier League table right now, it makes sense that Manchester City are the favorites to win this match. For one, they have a home advantage. Secondly, they have more strength in depth. If both managers make changes to their starting XIs, City’s will probably have more quality.

Yet because of the uncertainty over exactly who will play on Friday, we advise punters to avoid betting the moneyline on this occasion. Besides, even if you do fancy City to come out on top, a price of -150 is not overly enticing.

Instead, take a look at the goals market. City and Arsenal are two attack-minded teams that aim to play on the front foot whenever they can. Both sides have an abundance of attacking quality within their ranks and both will be keen to take the fight to the other.

With that in mind, over 3.5 goals looks like fantastic value at a current price of +170. Back at least four goals being scored at the Etihad Stadium on Friday, as Manchester City and Arsenal lock horns in a game you will not want to miss.

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How to Watch Manchester City vs Arsenal

  • Teams: Manchester City vs Arsenal

  • Location: Eithad Stadium, Manchester, England

  • Date and Time: Friday, 27 January 2023, 3 PM EST 

  • How to Watch: ESPN+

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Image for Greg Lea

Greg Lea

Soccer Betting Analyst

Expertise:
Premier League
Champions League
Bundesliga
La Liga
Betting Picks
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Politics
Favourite Sportsbook: bet365 Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: BetMGM Casino
Experience:
10 years
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