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Jon Riley 23rd Apr 2010 - 18:18

Ade's back in town to shoot down the Gunners

All eyes will be on Emmanuel Adebayor as he returns to the Emirates Stadium for the first time since his controversial move to Manchester City from Arsenal.

Adebayor is no stranger to controversy though. The Togo international grabbed the headlines when these two teams met at Eastlands back in September after running the full length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the travelling Gunners fans. He landed himself in further hot water by appearing to kick former team-mate Robin Van Persie's head, an act which saw the City striker banned for three matches.

The Arsenal fans and players will not have forgotten that day or the acrimonious manner of his exit from the Emirates Stadium. The home team are strong favourites to exact revenge (19/20) on City and deliver a huge blow to their hopes of finishing in fourth place.

Arsene Wenger will be looking for a reaction from his troops after three defeats in a row. The Frenchman will be hopeful that he can call upon the attacking prowess of the aforementioned Robin Van Persie. His introduction instantly transformed Arsenal's play in the North-London derby against Tottenham and showed what Arsenal had been missing all season.

Missing for the Gunners though will be their influential captain Cesc Fabregas and first choice central defenders William Gallas and Thomas Vermaelen. Also sidelined by injury are the Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia and Russian dangerman Andrei Arshavin.

Manchester City come into this game on the back of Paul Scholes injury time winner in the Manchester derby. That disappointment along with Tottenham's victory over Chelsea saw the Citizens drop to fifth, two points behind Tottenham.

City are priced at 14/5 to win away at Arsenal, something they haven't done since a 3-2 win back in October 1975. Their recent away form in the Premier League is more encouraging. They are currently six unbeaten in the League.

City have no new injury worries ahead of this huge clash and could include four former Arsenal players in the squad. Kolo Toure, Sylvinho, Emmanuel Adebayor and Patrick Veira have all donned the red and white of Arsenal but will be looking to put one over their former mentor Wenger.

The flying Dutchman Van Persie heads the first goal scorer betting markets at 7/2 while his team mates Bendtner and Walcott are 9/2 and 7/1 respectively. A bet on an Arsenal player to score first could bear fruit as Mr Wenger will surely send his team out to attack from the first whistle.

Carlos Tevez is 5/1 to open the scoring in this game and 5/4 anytime. He scored two on City's trip to Stamford Bridge in February when they defeated another of the title challengers in Chelsea. A popular bet will be on Emmanuel Adebayor to score on his return. He's 11/2 to notch the opener in a stadium he knows all too well.

The correct score market might be of some interest to punters. Arsenal won this fixture 2-0 last season which can be backed at 10/1 while a repeat of City's 4-2 victory earlier in the season pays out at a mammoth 66/1.

When looking at this game I can see an Arsenal win. I feel that they'll triumph by a score of 2-1 which has odds of 7/1. I feel it'll be a tight game but Arsenal will sneak it....just.

If this proves to be correct and the game is tight, I feel that an in-play bet on the visitors could prove very worthwhile. They are the value bet at 14/5 and may drift in the early part of the game if Arsenal are attacking. Who knows, a speedy counter attack from Bellamy, Johnson or Wright-Phillips could set up a decisive goal for one of City's strikers.


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