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Manchester City vs. Arsenal Pick

Manchester City vs. Arsenal and Pick to Win
Date:Sunday, April 2nd, 2016
Where: English Premier League – Emirates Stadium – Holloway, London, UK
by Keith, Professional Soccer/Football Handicapper, Predictem

Match Odds: Manchester City 11/8, Arsenal 11/5, Draw 13/5
Moneyline: Manchester City +137, Arsenal +220, Draw +260
Over/Under Best Market: UNDER 2.5 +130 (13/10)

Once again it’s a renewal of the Capital City of England and the Football Capital of England as Manchester and London square off yet again. It’s the Gunners of Arsenal against the Blues also known as the Cityzens of Manchester City. The latest edition of this rivalry is set to take place Sunday at Emirates Stadium on Holloway Road in North London. These two teams have been regulars in contention for both Champions League and the English Premier League title over the past few seasons.

Currently, Arsenal sits towards the top English Premier League table in the sixth position with 50 points. For the Mancunians, they stand in third with 57 points overall as this game potentially has a huge three point swing on the table for both sides. For Arsenal this game is a rehearsal for when the Gunners hos the Blues at the Emirates for the FA Cup Semifinal contest in April. A loss for Arsenal can put them out of Champions League qualification. Arsenal supporters have called for the termination of boss Arsene Wenger after some rather uninspiring performances and the Gunners falling faster to the middle of the table with prolific world-class talent. The Gunners are 2-4 in their last six fixtures are in terrible form. The two victories came against lower league competitors Sutton United and Lincoln City in the FA Cup where Arsenal took advantage of weaker opponents.

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Manchester City has hit a rough patch as they were bullied by Monaco 3-1 only to follow this up with an uncanny 1-1 draw at home at the Emirates Stadium. Previous to their recent troubles, the Blues have scored at will and their players were igniting on all fronts. While City may be thinking for a late English Premier League push, Cityzens boss Pep Guardiola has suggested shuffling the deck and cleaning house in the off-season to reinvigorate the rolls of the Blues. How this effects morale is yet to be seen. Guardiola already made a controversial move when he shipped off long-time Blue and legend goalkeeper Joe Hart to Torino. At the bare minimum, City is thinking Champions League qualification again as the sole team to make it through to the Quarterfinals from England is the defending champion Leicester City. The Foxes have struggled mightily in their title defense but they have been a menace in Champions League play. Nevertheless, they may be sent off abruptly with a draw against Atletico Madrid to start off Quarterfinals play.

The last time Arsenal headed up to Manchester, they were defeated at home by this Manchester City team at the Etihad. Previous to this, Manchester United dominated Arsenal throughout the span of their English Premier League fixture and fortunately for the Gunners, a last minute theatrical goal allowed Arsenal to the opportunity to escape with a point. Now, the Gunners get the privilege of playing this one at home in front of their supporters as they are known for a robust home pitch advantage in North London. However, with all the disarray in the Gunners administration and boss Arsene Wenger’s role in question. Arsenal is in sell mode to the eyes of many.

On the contrary, desperate times call for desperate measures. No one needs to win more than Wenger and with this being said, expect him not to make the same careless mistakes that cost him victories against opponents he should have beat. A FA Cup and qualification for Champions League would save his job for sure and he has the opportunity to both, especially if picks up the win here. The stock in the Gunners is so low that we can actually get them at an enhanced price at home. We will take this every time given the fact it is customary to lay juice. As for Over/Under markets, given the volatility of both teams offenses at this time and their suspect defenses, this game can be a shootout or it can be settled by a goal. While we would advise focusing solely on Arsenal for the win with a potential purse of 2.2 units, the Under 2.5 offers the most value in terms of Over/Unders. This is with respect to the fact there is a good chance this can be a 1-0 repeat identical what we saw in Manchester and above-even odds are the take-back if such an event were to occur.

Manchester City Recent Form
D – Liverpool 1-1
L – Monaco 0-2
W – Middlesbrough 2-0
D – Stoke City 0-0
W – Sunderland 2-0

Arsenal Recent Form
L – West Ham United 1-3
W – Lincoln City 5-0
L – Bayern Munich 1-5
L – Liverpool 1-3
W – Sutton United 2-0

Keith's Prediction for the Game: ARSENAL +220 (11/5) and UNDER 2.5 +130 (13/10)

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