Manchester City vs. Arsenal, England Premier League Matchday 9, City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester, England 11 AM EST Sunday October 24, 2010
by Jason Green of Predictem.com
Match Odds: Arsenal 2.95 / Manchester City 2.30 / Draw 3.30
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
Moneyline: Arsenal +195 / Manchester City +130 / Draw +220
In matchday 9 of the England Premier League Manchester City plays host to Arsenal. Manchester City spent a lot of cash at the beginning of last season to crack the top 4 of the EPL and they have got off to a fast start this season sitting at 2nd in the league table with 17 points only 2 points behind first place Chelsea. Arsenal is 3 points back of Man City in 3rd place and can draw even with them with a win.
Man City is mainly winning with their defense, as they have allowed the second fewest goals in the league (5). They have scored 12 goals on the season and former Manchester United striker Carlos Tvez has 7 of them and is the leading scorer in the EPL. Arsenal needs to mark him well and if they can quiet him down they have a great chance to win this match. Tvez has been a part of 9 of Man City’s 12 goals this season, as he also has 2 assists.
Arsenal has scored 18 goals this season and given up 10 and they come into this game with their offense clicking since they scored 5 goals in their last match against Shakhtar Donetsk in a Champions League fixture on Tuesday night.
Manchester City has yet to lose at home this season and they have already beat Chelsea there at the end of last month. In 4 away matches for Arsenal this season in the EPL they only have 1 win, 1 loss and 2 draws. It also does not bode well for the Gunners that they only have 1 win in their last 5 matches at Manchester City.
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Arsenal is getting their chances to score, but they are not taking advantage of it. Even though they have 18 goals and Manchester City has 10 Arsenal has taken 51 more shots so far this season (121 to 50).
Not only do the Gunners have to worry about Tvez, but MF James Milner since he has created the most goal scoring chances per game in the EPL this season (3.14).
Man City has their work cut out for them in this game, as Arsenal pushes forward and plays a great team game, so they cannot simply mark one player, as everyone has to be accounted for.
Manchester City Recent Form:
10/17/2010 Blackpool 2 Manchester City 3 (EPL)
10/3/2010 Manchester City 2 Newcastle United 1 (EPL)
9/30/2010 Manchester City 1 Juventus 1 (Europa League)
9/25/2010 Manchester City 1 Chelsea 0 (EPL)
9/22/2010 West Bromwich 2 Manchester City 1 (Carling Cup)
Arsenal Recent Form:
10/19/2010 Arsenal 5 Shakhtar Donetsk 1 (Champions League)
10/16/ 2010 Arsenal 2 Birmingham 1 (EPL)
10/3/2010 Chelsea 2 Arsenal 0 (EPL)
9/28/2010 Partizan Belgrade 1 Arsenal 3 (Champions League)
9/25/2010 Arsenal 2 West Bromwich 3 (EPL)
For Manchester City MF Yaya Toure and D Kolo Toure may not play due to injuries and for Arsenal DF Laurent Koscielny, DF Thomas Vermaelen, and F Robin van Persie will be out for this match. If Toure cannot go it will be a major blow to the Man City defense.
Manchester City plays in a big Europa League match on Thursday evening and head coach Roberto Mancini recently stated, “We will probably make changes because after the Europa League game we only have just over two days to recover for Arsenal, so we will make changes because of that. But we want to win on Thursday, it’s an important game for us.”
The main goal of Arsenal is keying on Tvez, since no other player for Man City has more than one goal. They will do just that, as he will not score in this match. However, with all the attention paid to him other players will find space and be able to score at least one goal.
Arsenal FW Theo Walcott only played half of the 2nd half of the Gunners recent match and they will need his offense in this match, as he is the leading scorer for the team (4 goals).
Look for a low scoring affair, as both teams do not want to concede 3 points.
Jason’s Pick to Win: With Man City’s injuries and Arsenal’s inconsistencies I think this game will come down to mistakes at the back end. Manchester City is a strong home team and I think they will come out on top by a score of 1-0.