The English Premier League is back with a bang on Wednesday as Manchester City take on Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium. We preview the clash and make our predictions and picks ahead of the game.
Manchester City (2nd) v Arsenal (9th)
Start Time: Wednesday June 17, 3:15pm EST
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
TV Coverage: NBCSN
Manchester City v Arsenal Preview
The wait is almost over! After three months off, the English Premier League finally returns to our lives on Wednesday. The league resumes with Aston Villa v Sheffield United at 1:00pm EST, shortly followed by a blockbuster clash between English champions Manchester City and top-four hopefuls Arsenal at 3:15pm EST.
As we have seen from the recent return of German and Spanish soccer, the environment will be entirely different to what we are used to. More substitutions, extra safety precautions and, unfortunately, stadiums without fans!
As the English Premier League returns, let’s recap on the current standings and the situations of both sides. Liverpool are inevitably going to lift this year’s trophy as they sit 25 points ahead of second-place Manchester City. So, what do City really have to play for?
Well, there are two motivations for City ahead of Wednesday’s clash. Firstly, Leicester and Chelsea are creeping behind them for that number two position in the league. Leicester sit four points behind in third-place and Chelsea are nine points behind.
Secondly, a loss to Arsenal on Wednesday would give Liverpool the opportunity to lift the trophy this weekend. Liverpool winning the league with 8 games to go? Manchester City surely won’t give them the chance.
While Manchester City have an uphill (virtually impossible) battle to catch Liverpool, 9th-place Arsenal have a very different and more achievable task on their hands. Next season’s Champions League places are given out to the Premier League’s top four spots, which will almost certainly be Arsenal’s aim for the season. Five places away from the top four makes this task sound more difficult than it is – Arsenal are only 8 points from Chelsea in fourth. This makes this season’s race for the top-four one of the closest in Premier League history!
Can Manchester City increase the gap between them and third-place and put the Liverpool celebrations on-hold for a little longer? Or will Arsenal clinch those vital points in their pursuit of a top-four spot?
Manchester City v Arsenal Predictions
Manchester City come into Wednesday match with nine points from their previous five Premier League matches. Arsenal’s form has been better, recording 13 points from their last five. However, four of City’s last five have been against teams in the top-eight of the league, whereas, Arsenal’s fixtures have been considerably easier.
Arsenal will find it hard to remember the last time they were victorious at the Etihad. They haven’t won away to Manchester City in five years and have lost each of their previous six matches against them. City have also won seven of their last nine home fixtures and we’re predicting them to record an eighth on Wednesday.
Manchester City on paper should have enough to overcome Arsenal. If their star man Kevin De Bruyne is on form, he’s sure to cause trouble against an Arsenal defense that is known to have its weaknesses. KDB is just one of two players in the league to register 10 or more assists this season and leads the charge with 16 assists. The Belgian has also created more chances for his teammates than any other player in the division.
Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus will likely add to City’s attacking threat on Wednesday and we’re predicting goals from the home side as a result.
We expect goals from the home side and are predicting the same for the away side too. Arsenal have score in 14 of their 15 fixtures under manager Mikel Arteta and have scored 10 goals in their previous five league games. The Gunners are certainly not shy in front of goal.
Arsenal’s last two visits to the Etihad have finished 3-1 to City and the two teams have seen at least three goals scored in five out of six previous meetings. Wednesday is perfectly set up for goals, and we expect the home side to come out on top.
Manchester City v Arsenal Picks
Pick 1: Manchester City to win and Both Teams to Score
We’re expecting a home win on Wednesday and, just like the previous meetings between City and Arsenal, we’re expecting goals from both sides.
Pick 2: Kevin De Bruyne to Give an Assist
If KDB’s form this season is anything to go by, he’s going to make an impact. He was the standout performer the last time Manchester City faced Arsenal, and he will be looking to add to his assist tally on Wednesday