Billy Greenall (@BillyGreenall) previews Arsenal v Man City and provides us with his best bets for Sunday's season opener in North London, analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
Arsenal v Man City Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 12/08/2018
- Time: 16:00
- Venue: Emirates Stadium (London)
- Channel: Sky Sports One
Two Premier League heavyweights come head to head on the opening weekend of the season this Sunday, as Arsenal host champions Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal enter the campaign off the back of an interesting and successful pre season under new coach Unai Emery. A 5-1 thumping of PSG was coupled with two well deserved draws against Chelsea and Athletico Madrid in the International Champions Cup, leaving Arsenal fans optimistic about what's set to be a transitional first season under the new boss.
The well decorated Spaniard arrives in England with a winning mentality following his time at Sevilla and Paris Saint German. Two Europa Leagues in two seasons during his time in Spain prompted the French giants to acquire his services, where Emery secured the Ligue 1 title and a handful of domestic trophies. Wenger's fantastic time at the club brought near unrivalled success to the Gunners, stretching over two decades of Premier League football. Unai Emery will be well aware of the shoes he has been hired to fill, though it's clear already he won't hesitate in implementing his own approach to this Arsenal side. They looked more aggressive, determined and gritty in pre season while containing their flare and free flowing football going forward, so this could be an intriguing season for Arsenal fans, the hopes of returning to the Champions League could well be within their sights.
As for their opponents, they showed they were still at their brilliant best in last weekend's community shield against Chelsea, without really moving out of third gear. City's 2-0 win over last seasons FA Cup winners was something of a breeze with Sarri's new side barely threatening the City penalty area throughout. Sergio Aguero looked sharp and could have had 3 or 4, but instead settled for a brace with a goal either side of half time. David Siva and Kevin De Bruyne were both rested last weekend and could feature in the league opener on Sunday, Bernardo Silva inherited a more central position in their absence and looked impressive to say the least, he'll be eager to continue that good form against the Gunners. Moving the Portuguese inside suggests he is the long term replacement for David Silva who is approaching the latter stages of his career, hats off to Guardiola once again for keeping Bernardo out wide during his first season – increasing the players ability to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League.
As I mentioned last week, only a truly great team is able to retain their own Premier League crown and only one team has done so in the last decade, City's neighbours United. While they may be a way off repeating anything similar, but City certainly don't seem to be, their form last season was exceptional and there's no reason they can't continue to dominate the Premier League for years to come given their squad and resources.
They'll be keen to hit the ground running against Arsenal despite a number of their players returning to pre season late following their World Cup exploits.
Anything less than a victory comes as a surprise for Guardiola's side after last season, but these Arsenal players will be eager to impress their new coach in the opening game of the season.
Koscielny remains sidelined. Ramsey has picked up a knock in pre season ruling him out, Saeed Kolasinac is set for a two month spell on the sidelines too. Monreal also has a knee injury meaning Maitland-Niles is set to fill in at left back.
The only injury worries for Guardiola are Danilo and Mangala – who are both absent. Kevin De Bruyne are set for a place on the bench following a late return to pre season training.
Arsenal Potential Starting XI: Leno, Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Lacazette, Aubamayeng,
Man City Potential Starting XI: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Mendy, Fernandinho, D Silva, B Silva, Mahrez, Sane, Aguero
Stats & Facts
- Man City are unbeaten in their last 9 opening games of the season, W 8 D 1.
- Arsenal have won just one of their last six home games against City, D3 L2.
- The last time these sides met on the opening day was in 1994, Arsenal won 3-0 at Highbury.
Head To Head
Arsenal 96 – D 45 – Man City – 53
Arsenal 3/1 – D 29/10 – Man City 19/20 (Bet 365)
I can see Arsenal scoring at home as they tend to do so but I can't see them outscoring Manchester City. If they attempt to do that they will leave too much space in behind resulting in an open game, exactly what City would like. Either way I'm expecting a handful of goals and would recommend over 3.5 goals and BTTS. City to win BTTS looks good too.