Arsenal vs Manchester City Prediction, Money Line & Picks

Arsenal vs Manchester City Odds

  • Pep Guardiola’s side moved 10 points clear of the chasing pack on Wednesday
  • Arsenal continue to be dogged by inconsistency and remain in mid-table
  • Back City to register another clean sheet after conceding to Everton last time out

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Arsenal vs Manchester City Predictions and Pick

Guardiola’s side have been solid for most of the campaign and will probably prove too strong for Arteta’s charges here.

Pick:

Manchester City to win ()

How to watch Arsenal vs Manchester City

Arsenal vs Manchester City Information
What Arsenal vs Manchester City
Where The Emirates Stadium, London, England
When Sunday, 21 February 2021, 11.30 AM EST
How to watch NBC Sports

Manchester City are on an extraordinary run of form. Their 3-1 victory over Everton in midweek means they have won every Premier League game they have contested in 2021, and success against Arsenal this weekend would make it 13 wins on the bounce in the top flight and 18 in all competitions.

In seven of their last nine victories in the Premier League, City have not even conceded a goal. Arsenal’s attack has improved in the last couple of months, but the smart money is on a win to nil for the away team at the Emirates Stadium.

City’s Imminent Title Success Built on a Solid Backline

It came as something of a surprise to learn that Ederson had won the Golden Glove last season. The award is given to the Premier League goalkeeper who has kept the cleanest sheets, and the Brazilian’s 16 shut-outs in 2019/20 saw him beat Burnley’s Nick Pope to the prize. The reason it raised eyebrows was that, according to the conventional wisdom, Manchester City’s title defense had floundered because of an overly leaky backline.

Although Ederson’s record would seem to suggest otherwise, City’s defense was a major problem last term. Pep Guardiola’s side conceded 35 goals in 38 games – far from a disastrous total, and only marginally more than champions Liverpool. But at key moments in key games, City’s defensive structure was found wanting. Their pressing had become less effective and they were unable to guard against opposition counter-attacks. In the first season without Vincent Kompany, his former team-mates missed the erstwhile captain’s guidance and leadership.

In the first few weeks of this term, it looked like City’s struggles at the back were going to continue. Leicester City, led by Jamie Vardy, tore Guardiola’s men apart on the counter-attack. Their 5-2 victory at the Etihad Stadium in September seemed to suggest that City were not solid enough to win the title, as did a 2-0 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur in late November. After that match City sat 13th in the table, seemingly out of the championship race already.

The turnaround since then has been remarkable – and the key to it has been City’s new-found solidity. They have conceded just four goals in the 1440 minutes of soccer they have played since that loss to the Spurs. No team in that time has scored more than once against them. It is a superb record which, more than any other factor, explains the City’s comfortable position at the summit of the standings.

Arsenal Are Still Struggling to Shake off Inconsistency

Arsenal beat Leeds United 4-2 in their most recent Premier League fixture. It was an excellent display from Mikel Arteta’s side, with Bukayo Saka in tremendous form and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang notching a hat-trick. The margin of victory should have been even wider: Arsenal went 4-0 up and then took their foot off the gas, allowing Leeds to score twice.

The Gunners’ principal problem this season is that such performances have been few and far between. Arsenal have beaten Chelsea 3-1 at the Emirates this term, and have also lost 1-0 to Burnley on the same ground. They have overcome Manchester United at Old Trafford but also failed to beat Crystal Palace at home. In their two games before the recent success against Leeds, Arsenal lost to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa.

The powers that be at the Emirates were right to stick with Arteta when he came under pressure earlier in the campaign, but it should be clear to everyone that this is a work in progress. It is unrealistic to expect Arsenal to challenge for the top four right now; a place in the Champions League qualification spots might even be beyond them next season. For the time being, Arsenal must focus on becoming more consistent, otherwise, they will struggle to make any meaningful progress.


Editor’s Picks


City’s Balance Between Attack and Defense Should Be the Difference

Arsenal have lacked balance at times this term. Their defensive record has generally been good, but it has usually coincided with bluntness in the attack. When they have been more productive in the final third, they have simultaneously been less secure at the other end of the field – such as in Monday’s 4-2 defeat of Leeds.

That is not a problem that the City have encountered of late. Having first gone back to basics by tightening up the defense, Guardiola’s side have been more free-scoring in recent weeks. They hit four goals past Liverpool at Anfield, three against Tottenham at the Etihad, and then another three in their midweek win against Everton. City’s increased attacking potency – at the center of which has been the terrific Ilkay Gundogan – has not come at the expense of their defensive resolve.

City’s recent form is even more impressive when you consider that Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne have both been out for several weeks. The Belgium international could return to the starting XI on Sunday, which would further complicate Arsenal’s task. The Gunners may have looked bright in forward areas last time out, but breaking down City’s backline is a task at which most opponents have failed in the last three months. An away win to nil is the way to go here.

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Greg Lea

Expert on Soccer

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.



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