Arsenal hosts Manchester City on the first day of the New Year, having the honor of opening the new chapter for all of us, English Premier League fans. Both sides are in exquisite form, having several consecutive wins in a row and playing extremely well. Arsenal woke up in recent times, and it appears that Mikel Arteta’s ideas are finally clicking in with the players. On the other side, City is on a rampage that will probably decide the title if it continues until the end of January. Guardiola’s machine shifted into a higher gear, as they usually do at this season stage, leaving all the rivals in the dust.
Arsenal (+450) has five wins in a row, three of them with clean sheets. The defense was solid throughout most of the year, and despite having a few meltdowns, we can say that they perform well.
On the other end, the attackers are solid, netting 14 goals in the past three contests, 19 in the previous five. All that without Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, who is not playing due to disciplinary measures.
The Gunners’ games are fun to watch, because only two of the last nine didn’t end with three or more goals. This young and talented squad has a high ceiling, and if it stays together for a few years, they could be big.
Manchester City (-200) is already big. They are the undisputed ruler of the English Premier League, and the current leaders of the same. The Citizens used Liverpool’s slip in Leicester to increase the lead in the standings.
At the moment, they have five wins in a row, 12 in the past 13 games. They are masterful on both ends of the field, with the defense stepping up as in the opening part of the campaign. The Citizens recorded four clean sheets in the previous five events, which needs to be credited.
As for the attackers, before a 0-1 win in Brentford, they had a rampage, packing seven goals to Leeds, four to Newcastle, and six to Leicester. Enough said about their form.
As said before, Aubameyang is not going to play. Chambers, Kolasinac, Tomiyasu, and Soares are also unavailable.
Delap, Mendy, and Rodri are out for the guests, while Josh Stones and Kyle Walker stand as questionable before this event.
Head to Head Games
The first meeting of the year saw the Citizens beating Arsenal 5-0 at the Etihad, in one-sided domination that could have ended more tragic for the Gunners.
Ferran Torres scored a brace for the hosts, while Gundogan, Rodri, and Gabriel Jesus added one goal each. By the way, City has three wins in a row against this rival.
We are backing up the Citizens here, who are going to secure at least a nine-point lead over Liverpool with a win in this event. That is a massive edge, knowing that Mane and Salah leave the Reds to play at the Africa Cup of Nations. So the champions are our pick here, and those who want to take some risk in the quest for higher profits, could go with City -1.5.
Pick: Man City wins -200
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.