Manchester City vs Arsenal. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats, and more

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The three-horse title race is in the decisive phase and the intrigue is at its peak: who will emerge victorious in this 6-pointer?

Manchester City FC will host Arsenal FC in the English Premier League 30th-round match at the Etihad Stadium. The fixture will take place on Sunday, March 31, beginning at 21:00 IST.

Parimatch News will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.

Manchester City News & Current Form: 

Manchester City are continuing to fight for the championship title in the English Premier League, but now everything depends on more than just the Citizens themselves. They had a great opportunity to break into the championship leaders in the 28th round when they went to Anfield to face Liverpool FC, but they failed to beat the principal rival who have a powerful and efficient attack – 1:1, 

In the latter part of the match, Jurgen Klopp effectively outplayed his adversary. Following halftime, Liverpool controlled the game against the reigning champions to such an extent that the visitors should consider themselves fortunate that the match concluded in a draw. There was even a heated exchange between Kevin De Bruyne and Pep Guardiola upon the player’s substitution. The club from Manchester focused on tight defence in the middle zone and did not actively move forward, however, it did not save them from numerous errors in defence. 

Indeed, this situation shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. After all, Manchester City were facing one of the primary title contenders. Furthermore, they have historically struggled when playing against the Reds, and this occasion was no different.

As a result of this match, the Blues dropped to third in the standings, but in the next round they have another important game against Arsenal, from which City are only one point behind, so this meeting could determine the outcome of the race. 

In the ongoing saga between Guardiola and Arteta, each encounter on the pitch adds a new layer of intrigue. Since Arteta assumed leadership at the Emirates, their teams have clashed eight times in the league, marking another chapter in their captivating rivalry.

Their familiarity runs deep: Arteta once served as a crucial member of Guardiola’s coaching staff at Manchester City from 2016 to 2019, before venturing to Arsenal with the aim of revitalizing the club’s former glory.

Throughout Arteta’s stint in Manchester and his subsequent tenure in London, Guardiola frequently lauded the valuable insights and expertise brought by the former midfielder from Everton and Arsenal.

Likewise, Arteta has openly acknowledged Guardiola’s profound influence on his professional journey, expressing immense respect for the City manager. As their paths intertwined both on and off the field, City and Arsenal have evolved into seasoned adversaries, setting the stage for continued drama and competition.

The main star of the game against Newcastle United FC – Bernardo Silva – who scored 2 goals

Furthermore, the Mancunians have been displaying impressive performances in the FA Emirates Cup. Last year’s champions navigated through three opponents en route to the quarterfinals. Initially, they asserted dominance on their home turf against Huddersfield Town FC (5:0), followed by an away victory against Tottenham Hotspur FC (1:0) and Luton Town FC (6:2).

It’s noteworthy that Erling Haaland made a significant impact in the last stage of the tournament, netting five goals and thereby becoming the first footballer since 1970 to achieve such a feat in a single FA Cup match. In the final encounter, the Blues faced a somewhat lackluster Newcastle United FC, with Bernardo Silva emerging as the game’s Most Valuable Player, scoring twice in the 13th and 31st minutes (2:0).

At the moment, Josep Guardiola’s team has not lost in 22 consecutive matches in all tournaments, in 19 of which they were stronger than their opponents. In addition, Manchester City are performing mightily on home soil this season: including the UEFA Champions League, domestic cup competitions and the EPL, they have played 20 games at home without a single defeat while winning 16. The Sky Blues have conceded (28) slightly more than both rivals and scored slightly less often (63) – on both counts City are third.

The team’s top scorer is Haaland with 18 goals, but other attacking and midfield players are also very dangerous, with Phil Foden scoring 11 times, Julian Alvarez with eight, and Rodri and  Silva with six each. Pep has two serious losses: the brain of the team, Kevin de Bruyne, and number one Ederson are unavailable.

Jack Grealish about taking it one game at a time and the upcoming opponent:

“We have to win. We are behind them at the moment. We know it is going to be a tough game, but I just feel that when teams come to the Etihad, I feel like we always make it difficult for them.”

“In both this season and last season, they have had a young side and last season was their first real-time in a title race, so this year they might have a bit more experience.”

“Us as a team and as a club, we are just taking it one game at a time at the moment. I know that is what everyone says, but we genuinely are. It was the same last year. We weren’t really looking at it thinking ‘can we go and do the Treble’?”

“It was more like let’s take it one game at a time in the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League finals at the end. We’re just taking each game as it comes.”

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Arsenal News & Current Form: 

The Gunners have recovered from their January slump and have won nine of their ten matches in all competitions. In four of them, men of Mikel Arteta have scored at least five goals and never conceded. In addition, the Londoners confidently dealt with the rival in the battle for the title Liverpool (3:1). 

In the 28th round of the domestic championship, Brentford FC gave their all when they visited the Emirates Stadium, posing certain challenges for the London-based team. The match proved to be highly engaging and action-packed. Both sides had opportunities to score more goals, but Arsenal demonstrated resilience and ultimately overcame their opponents.

The decisive goal was netted by Kai Havertz, whose standing among Arsenal supporters has notably improved. At the start of the season, the German faced regular criticism, yet Arteta persisted in his belief and endeavoured to optimize his strengths. Consequently, in the last four Premier League matches, the midfielder has notched four goals and provided two assists.

In the latest game, Oleksandr Zinchenko made his long-awaited return to the field after injury, entering the match as a substitute towards the end, which coincided with his team securing victory. Up until the previous weekend, Arsenal bore little resemblance to a dominant force, but they displayed remarkable form, defeating Sheffield United FC (6:0), Newcastle United (4:1), Burnley FC (5:0), and West Ham United FC (6:0). 

They have now secured victories in all eight of their last league fixtures, making them only the fourth team in history to achieve this feat in the opening eight matches of a calendar year. 

Arsenal currently lead the EPL table, edging past the Merseysiders on goal difference (46 compared to 39). The team boasts the most dependable defence in the league, conceding only 24 goals, and they’ve also scored the highest number of goals in the championship, tallying 70 times.

The team’s leading goal scorer and provider is Bukayo Saka (13 goals and 8 assists), though he is likely to miss the trip to the Etihad due to injury. Another key scorer for the London side, Gabriel Martinelli (6 goals and 4 assists), is also sidelined.

Leandro Trossard scored the decisive goal in the clash against Porto in the Champions League

However, Arsenal possess several attacking threats, and even in the absence of Saka and Martinelli, they have players capable of troubling Manchester City. For instance, summer addition Kai Havertz has scored 8 goals and provided 3 assists in his 27 games, while Declan Rice and Martin Ødegaard have each contributed 6 goals and 6 assists.

As for the Champions League, the London club faced FC Porto in the 1/16 round. The first match at Estadio Do Dragao saw a sensation when Galeno scored his side’s winning goal with a spectacular shot in the last minute of the match, giving the Dragons a slight advantage ahead of the return leg.

In the second leg at the Emirates Stadium, the match ended 1:0 in favour of the hosts, with Trossard scoring the crucial goal. Extra time saw no further goals, leading to a penalty shootout where Arsenal emerged victorious. This victory propelled Arsenal into the quarterfinals of the global tournament for the first time in 14 years.

Manchester City form guide: W-W-W-W-D-W

Arsenal form guide: W-L-W-W-W-W

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Manchester City vs Arsenal Head-To-Head Record:

Manchester CityDrawArsenal
  • April  26, 2023: Manchester City 4 – 1 Arsenal (Premier League);
  • August 6, 2023: Arsenal 1 – 1 Manchester City (FA Community Shield);
  • October 8, 2023: Arsenal 1 – 0 Manchester City (Premier League).

Manchester City vs Arsenal Predicted XI:

Manchester City’s possible starting lineup (3-2-4-1): Ederson; Lewis, Dias, Akanji, Ake; Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Foden, Haaland, Doku.

Arsenal’s possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Jorginho, Rice; Saka, Havertz, Martinelli.

Statistical preview of the match Manchester City vs Arsenal:

  • Man City’s First XI average age is 28.0 years, and Arsenal’s First XI average age is 25.6 years.
  • The total value of City’s squad is 1.27 bln euros, while the total of Arsenal comes up to 1.12 bln euros.
  • Anthony Taylor has been appointed as the centre referee. The referee has already served 33 games this season, showing an average of 4.8 Yellow Cards and also whistles 21 fouls per game. 
  • Arsenal have scored at least 3 goals in 9 of their last 9 EPL matches.
  • Arsenal have won 8 consecutive league matches.
  • Manchester City have not lost in 25 consecutive EPL home matches (20 wins, 5 draws).
  • Arsenal have not served more than 3 corners in 7 of their 9 away games in the EPL.
  • Manchester City have scored at least 2 goals in 7 of their last 8 games in the league.

What has been said before the match:

Gaffer of the Sky Blues, Pep Guardiola, about winning the title this season:

“The season has been really good, winning two titles after what happened last season. We are in contention for three main titles of the season. We do incredible work.”

“Last 10 games of the Premier League, we start at an important time. I’m sure the people will give us what we need to perform our best. Right now every game is so important. If we are able to do it, the next game will be very important as well.”

Mikel Arteta, the main coach of the Gunners, about the title race and embracing the moment:

“We have to embrace the moment, we need to go day-by-day, train really well and prepare for every match and see where this can take us. We’ve done a lot already to be in the position that we are in and now we have to embrace and enjoy the moment and go for it. “I have full belief and trust in my players and what we are trying to do. It’s something that we have to show on the pitch, outside is very easy to talk about”.

“It’s a massive game for both teams, that’s for sure because it will give us a huge push again if we go there and win it, but I still feel there is a long, long way after to make up all the ground to win it.”

Manchester City vs Arsenal Prediction:

The international break has played into the hands of Mikel Arteta and his coaching staff, who, in the wake of a disappointing December, have had a huge urge to sublimate the frustration and reboot. The Gunners did serious work on their mistakes and in January managed to gain impressive momentum, winning all 8 games of the English Premier League having scored an average of 4 goals per match conceding 0.5. The win over Liverpool in this stretch was particularly emblematic. And another achievement adds a significant degree of positivity and confidence: first-in-a-while progression to the quarter-finals of the UCL.

Londoners boast the most reliable defence in the EPL (11 clean sheets; 24 conceded in 28 rounds). At the same time in the most productive attack of the championship, the danger comes from everyone and always, both with set-pieces and open play: 7 players have more than 5 goals to their accounts at the moment. The possible absence of the most prolific performer, Bukayo Saka, is unlikely to prevent Arsenal from achieving their objectives in the attacking third. And the trip to the Etihad Stadium is hardly scary for the Red-Whites, as they perform better away than anyone else in the league.

Manchester City are once again fighting for the treble, and their current form is also impressive: unbeaten in the EPL for 13 matches (11 wins and 3 draws). However, in metrics they are inferior to their upcoming opponent: throughout the last 8 matches, they have scored an average of 1.8 goals per game, conceding 0.6. Two factors speak in favour of the Sky Blues: the home-field advantage, as well as their famous die-hard grip and zeal, which they have repeatedly demonstrated in crucial stretches of the title race over the last few seasons. Because of that stability, poise and track record, many rightly put Man City as favourites to win the EPL trophy, and this match is a great opportunity to take out one of their main rivals. Pep Guardiola is determined to take all three points, but only one thing can get in the way: as in the case of their vis-a-vis, the Citizens cannot count on a number of their essential players, including their core asset, Kevin De Bruyne.

Speaking of recent head-to-head encounters, Mikel Arteta’s side have twice prevailed over Manchester City this season, with a penalty shootout win in the Super Cup and a regular-time minimal victory in the EPL. However, the Gunners have lost their last four consecutive games at the Etihad. 

Rest assured, this 6-pointer will provide us with a real emotional roller coaster. The coaches are ready to unleash a tactical masterclass, while the players are looking to deliver their best performances of the season. And all of this will be multiplied by a huge heat of passion coupled with the pressure of the desire to break into the first line, no one wants to give in. We expect Arsenal to put up a serious fight, but it will be problematic to resist the onslaught of the Citizens, the result is unpredictable. Both teams play aggressive and initiative football, so goals can be expected from both sides in this game of back-and-forth action, 3 of the last 4 head-to-head encounters have seen this scenario. 

Parimatch News staff prediction:

We say: Both teams will score – Yes.

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