Are City 'Gunner' Hand It To Man U At The Emirates?
Arsenal v Man City
English Premier League
16:00 - live on Sky Sports 1
Match odds: Arsenal 6/4 Draw 21/10 Man City 19/10
A win for Arsene Wenger's side at the Emirates on Sunday will not only put them in the driver's seat for the automatic qualification spot for the Champions League but would also all but end Manchester City's bid for the Premier League title. After dropping points against The Potters and Sunderland Mancini's boys now sit five points adrift of rivals United and the signs coming from the Etihad are of a team that has completely lost focus of their primary objective.
The same could be said of Arsenal if last weekend's performance at QPR was anything to go by. A victory would have left Tottenham, Chelsea and now Newcastle in a scrap for fourth, however, the Gunners strolled into Loftus Road in such a nonchalant manner that they were punished by a side fighting for survival. That missed opportunity now leaves them in a must win game against, on their day, one of Europe's best sides this season. No new injury concerns will be of small comfort to Arsene Wenger whose side have lost twice already to the side from East Manchester. Robin Van Persie has chosen a particularly bad time to hit a dry spell, the Dutchman hasn't scored in the Premier League since the 12th of March in Arsenal's 2-1 victory over Newcastle and is a 4/1 shout for first goalscorer and Evens about anytime at the Emirates.
Roberto Mancini's frustration has been vented in a very public arena. Losing Kun Aguero at this vital stage of the season got the ball rolling but it is Italian Mario Balotelli who continues to be the thorn in his side. His display at Sunderland was a perfect example of why the City manager is in such a predicament. Arguing with team-mates one minute then scoring after a display of individual brilliance. Balotelli has scored a goal every 94 minutes this season, the best rate in the Premier League for all players who have played at least 1000 minutes and for that reason alone is a must for the starting line-up. He is 11/2 about first goalscorer and 6/4 for anytime.
Undoubtedly Arsenal will produce an improved performance after last weekend's debacle against Queen's Park Rangers, however the flaws that were highlighted in the Gunners defence could be exploited but World class stars like Aguero and Dzeko. The 19/10 available on an albeit stuttering City side appears to offer enough incentive however Man City -1 Goal @ 9/2 is where I would place my money.
For the Match Winner we have gone 4/1, originally 11/4, about any substitute to score. With Carlos Tevez on the bench there is always a possibility, however there are other incentives that could produce an inspired performance. Marouane Chamakh has been disappointing since his bright start at Arsenal and he has been told by the manager that his future is in the balance if the Moroccan doesn't begin to find the net. Could he be the one to break the deadlock and help himself to a new contract in the process?