WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) is given the reins for Sunday's FA Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Manchester City; whose the best of a bad bunch here?
Arsenal v Manchester City | Sunday 15:00 | BT Sport 1
What can you say about this Arsenal side that hasn’t already been said?
There really is no point me digging into them. Instead, I’m staring at the Premier League table mystified that actually they are only four points behind Manchester City in fourth spot if they win their game in hand.
I guess my point is they’ve been diabolical but they are still in contention. Now this FA Cup semi-final also offers them a chance to get something out of a dreadful season. The problem is it’s against City who, for all their faults, are a much better unit.
When the Citizens made the trip to the Emirates earlier this month they were on top for the majority of the game. They lead twice but a couple of defensive mistakes cost them. 56% possession on Arsenal’s own turf is a good indication of their supremacy, whilst they also won the shot count 14-8.
Unfortunately for the Gunners I don’t anticipate that City will make the same mistakes again. Vincent Kompany returned last week and immediately they kept a clean sheet and won 3-0 in what was meant to be a reasonably tough game away to Southampton.
Pep Guardiola is now in a position where he has to prove himself and I think he’ll be hell-bent on winning some silverware in his first season. Anything less than a win here would be unacceptable given Arsenal’s recent struggles.
Only Sane selection
Shkodran Mustafi is out with a thigh injury for the hosts. I don’t think that’s a huge blow, so far I don’t rate him too highly but if Arsenal have to juggle the defence around again like they did on Monday night it won’t work out well for them. The Gunners being only the fifth team in 13 to concede to Boro in 2017.
Manchester City are a best price 10/11 with William Hill. That doesn’t happen too often on neutral territory in this sort of encounter and means I’m struggling to find value in what I wanted to do, which was back City.
Instead, I’ll back Leroy Sane to notch. The German winger has adapted to the English game very nicely and is really pushing on now.
In 18 starts in 2017 he has eight goals. He’s scored in two of the three FA Cup games he’s started and also scored the opener at the Emirates three weeks ago. 21/10 with 888 is good enough for me.
Arsenal v Manchester City – Leroy Sane to score anytime (21/10 888)