Manchester City opened up an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League this week thanks to a 1-0 win at Brentford, their 10th straight victory in the league, but maybe in line for a test at Arsenal in the early kick-off on New Year’s Day.
Arsenal has been in fine form themselves with five straight wins in all competitions, but they have fallen short when faced with better opposition. The Gunners have lost just three of their last 13 games, winning the other 10, and their three defeats have come against top-seven rivals Liverpool and Manchester United, as well as Everton.
Pep Guardiola’s men won the reverse fixture 5-0 earlier in the season and can beat Arsenal by a convincing scoreline in this latest meeting. Pep Guardiola’s men may not win by such emphatic scorelines, but they should still be able to win with room to spare on Saturday.
The Catalan coach had the luxury of leaving a few big names on the bench at Brentford as Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan, and Riyad Mahrez were given the night off. The trio may well return to the starting XI on Sunday, while Arsenal may well go with the same side that beat Norwich 5-0 on Boxing Day.
Arsenal has been well beaten in all three of their meetings with the current top three so far this season having also lost 4-0 to Liverpool and 2-0 to Chelsea. As such, backing Manchester City to take this one looks like a good bet.
In all three of their meetings with the top three so far Arsenal has failed to score. City boasts the meanest defence in the league with just 12 goals conceded in 20 games, and they have four clean sheets in their last five games.
The visitors are averaging 2.55 goals-per-game in the league. The Gunners haven’t conceded three at home in any competition all season, but City has scored more goals than any other team in the league and can record a big win at the Emirates.
Sterling was in fine form before being rested against the Bees and can pick up where he left off with a goal at Arsenal. The England international has scored in each of his last four appearances in the league, with five goals in total during that run, and can continue his spree in North London.