DANIEL MCCULLOCH (@Danmcc84) previews Thursday evening’s clash between runaway Premier League leaders Man City and Arsenal at the Emirates.
Arsenal v Manchester City | Thursday 1st March 2018, 19:45 | Sky Sports
Just four days after their sorry display against Manchester City in the League Cup Final, Arsenal get a chance to avenge that defeat when hosting Pep Guardiola’s side.
Unfortunately for The Gunners, despite the likelihood of the chilly – and possibly wet – conditions at The Emirates slowing City down a little, I struggle to make a case for the North London side emerging victorious.
Arsenal supporters can take comfort in the fact that they have lost just once in their last eight home league games against the current top six and that you have to go back to January 2013 for the last time City beat them at The Emirates. However, across that time period I do not believe they have faced any English side with as much talent as the current crop that Guardiola has it his disposal.
Indeed, the only Premier League side that can compete with City in terms of attacking threat is Liverpool and they have found the net 17 times in their last five matches against Arsenal.
City have scored in all but one of their league games this season and I simply do not see Arsenal doubling that tally on Thursday night. Both Teams To Score may seem short at a best price of 1/2 – but given that the home side have scored in every home league game this season, including eight in four games against the remaining members of ‘The Big Six’, I can see why.
With this in mind I was tempted by the 2/1 on Manchester City winning and both sides finding the net but I would prefer a more conservative approach and will simply back a win for The Citizens and over 2.5 goals being scored in the game.
Backing Pep’s men in the outright market at 5/6 holds little appeal but given that seven out of Arsenal’s eight league defeats have seen three more goals scored and 19 of City’s 23 victories have also seen this bet emerge victorious, I believe the 11/8 Boylesports are offering is of value.
Arsenal probably will score but I would want to have a repeat of Sunday’s scoreline on my side and feel that this is an excellent price.
Arsenal v Manchester City – Manchester City to win and over 2.5 goals (11/8 Boylesports)