Arteta and Guardiola lock horns once again as Arsenal attempt to put an end to Manchester City’s record-breaking winning run.
It’s student vs master as Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal squares off against Pep Guardiola and Manchester City for a Premier League clash on Sunday afternoon.
A whopping 22-point gap stands between the two clubs ahead of their latest meeting. City hold the advantage in first-place in the Premier League table, with Arsenal down in a lowly 10th in comparison.
The visitors have dominated this fixture recently, having won each of their last seven league encounters. Considering their rock-solid defense, record-breaking run of form, and Arsenal’s own inconsistency, an away victory at the Emirates Stadium is expected.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) February 21, 2021
Can Arsenal end their barren record against City?
Mikel Arteta is under no illusions of the challenge that lies ahead. The Arsenal manager openly acknowledged City, with whom he worked as an assistant previously, as the best team in Europe in his pre-match conference.
The Gunners, as previously mentioned, have lost each of their seven league clashes with City. They’ve taken an average of 17 minutes to concede the first goal, with 12 of the 20 goals conceded coming in the first half. A strong start at the Emirates, therefore, is necessary to avoid a similar fate.
But Arsenal haven’t done particularly well recently and disappointed against Benfica midweek. Despite Arteta electing a strong line-up, they drew 1-1 in the Europa League match and wasted opportunities. It’s not a good sign for the test against City’s impressive defense, who have kept clean sheets in each of their last three league visits to north London.
Key Team Stats
- Won 1 of their last 5 games in all competitions (D2 L2).
- Unbeaten in their last 6 home league games (W3 D3).
- Lost 11 of their last 18 games against league leaders (W3 D4).
- Failed to score in their last 3 home league games against City.
- Lost their last 7 league games against City – only Leeds (8 times, 1973-1976) have beaten Arsenal more times in a row.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 6 goals in his last 7 games in all competitions.
Unbeaten Citizens to extend record-breaking run
A record 17-match winning run has moved City 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League, sealed an EFL Cup final spot, and put them into the FA Cup quarter-finals. And with their Champions League campaign resuming on Wednesday, talk of a potential quadruple will surely begin in the upcoming weeks.
The Citizens head to north London off the back of a convincing 3-1 victory at Everton last week. Therefore, Guardiola’s men became the first English top-flight side to win their opening 10 games in a calendar year. They’re also on a 24-match unbeaten run in all competitions and haven’t lost to Arsenal in the Premier League since December 2015.
The six-time English champions have proved tough to break down. Not only do they comfortably boast the league’s best defensive record, but they have only conceded over one goal in just one of their last 15 league outings. City have also scored at least three goals in four of their last five away games in the top-flight.
Key Team Stats
- Won their last 17 games in all competitions, including 12 in the league.
- On a 24-match unbeaten run in all competitions (W21 D3).
- Kept 22 clean sheets in all competitions and conceded just 15 league goals.
- Hope to equal a club record of 11 consecutive away wins across all competitions.
- Unbeaten in their last 10 league games against Arsenal (W8 D2) and scored at least 2 goals.
- Ilkay Gundogan has scored 11 goals in his last 12 appearances in all competitions.
- 5 of Phil Foden’s 6 league goals have come on the road.
- Raheem Sterling has managed 4 goals and 2 assists in his last 5 league games against Arsenal.
|Doubts:||Thomas Partey||Ilkay Gundogan|
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Leno; Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney; Ceballos, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Aubameyang.
Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Rodri, Silva; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling