The Premier League is back this week, with Manchester City vs Arsenal the highlight of Wednesday’s two opening fixtures.

With Aston Villa also hosting Sheffield United before that, we preview the two upcoming games.

Aguero to inspire City slickers to victory

Manchester City welcome Arsenal to the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening as both sides look to hit the ground running upon their return to action.

It’s a somewhat strange point of the campaign for these two, however, with both looking very unlikely to achieve their season’s ambitions. It would take more than a miracle for second-placed City to overhaul Liverpool’s 25-point lead and win the Premier League title. Meanwhile, based on previous form this term, ninth-placed Arsenal look rather unlikely to break into the top four – and the 16/1 price on offer certainly reaffirms that point.

That said, both sides will still of course be looking to build momentum from the off here, particularly with City harbouring Champions League hopes and the duo both still in the FA Cup.

While both teams displayed some inconsistency earlier in the season, winning three from six each, it’s City who will draw more confidence from past results between these two, having won all of their last six games against Arsenal. It’s little surprise then to see Pep Guardiola’s men are the 3/10 favourites for victory on Wednesday, with Arsenal at 9/1. Given their recent dominance of this fixture, City to win both halves and to have the most corners in each half at 16/5 could also be worth a look at.

One intriguing subplot to this fixture is the race for the Golden Boot. City and Arsenal’s star men, Sergio Aguero (16 goals) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (17 goals), are 11/2 and 3/1 respectively to land the gong and will be eager to add to their tallies in their first games back. But with an impressive record of 11 goals in 16 games against the Gunners, Aguero could be the man more likely to get his name on the scoresheet, and enhanced odds of 3/1 are available for him to do so first on Wednesday night.

Blades to pick up where they left off

Kicking off prior to the game at the Etihad is Aston Villa and Sheffield United’s clash at Villa Park.Both teams found themselves promoted to the Premier League last summer but could hardly have experienced different campaigns back in the top flight. Villa have been fighting a relegation battle and currently sit 19th in the table, two points from safety. Sheffield United, meanwhile, have enjoyed a stunning season and find themselves in seventh, with hopes of European qualification for the first time in their history very much alive. While Villa are 2/5 to get relegated, Sheffield United are 11/4 to finish in the top six.

It’s, therefore, of no shock to see Chris Wilder’s men as the 5/4 favourites here to pick up the three points, with a Villa win and the draw both priced at 23/10. However, one thing that can be said about Villa this season is they do often turn in a battling display, making Sheffield United to win and both teams to score at the enhanced odds of 4/1 seem all the more appealing.

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