Arsenal v Manchester City
English Premier League
Emirates Stadium, London, England
Sunday, 13 January, 2013
Referee: Mike Dean
Arsenal will be looking to leapfrog above Everton and into fifth place on the Premier League table with a win over the current champions. Manchester City have to try and force a victory in this game or they may lose further ground to local rivals Manchester United at the top of the table.
Arsenal have been solid but not spectacular at home this season which is something they will be looking to build on. Arsene Wenger must decide whether to start Theo Walcott in the centre of the attack considering the forward has still not signed a new deal to stay with the club beyond this season.
One of the best football tips for Arsenal’s inconsistent home form according to Steve Claridge is backing them to secure a vital point.
Injuries & Suspensions
Olivier Giroud is rated 50/50 to start the match after picking up a knee problem. He may face a late fitness test and could be on the subs bench for the match. The match comes too soon for big midfielder Abou Diaby who lacks match fitness and is unlikely to take part.
Manchester City Preview
Manchester City have dropped the majority of their points away from home as they have failed to win on five different occasions.
Roberto Mancini’s best combination in attack seems to be Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez but with Aguero out injured, it’s a toss up between Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko to start in attack unless Mancini goes with a 4-5-1 formation.
Injuries & Suspensions
Aguero has confirmed that he has a slight hamstring tear which should rule him out of this important clash. Aleksandar Kolarov and Maicon remain out with Kolarov suffering a leg injury and Maicon out with a knee problem.
Micah Richards will also miss out with a knee problem while Jack Rodwell is continuing his recovery from a torn hamstring. Samir Nasri is suspended following his red card against Norwich City.
Arsenal v Manchester City Stats
Arsenal have nine wins, seven draws and four defeats from all of their matches so far this season. They have a win rate of just over 50% when they play at home and they have scored just three goals fewer than Manchester United at home while conceding the same number of goals.
Manchester City have dropped points on five occasions away from home this season with five wins, four draws and a single defeat. They have been solid defensively only conceding ten goals but they have surprisingly struggled in attack with only 16 goals scored which is only one goal more than Fulham.
Head to Head
Arsenal and Manchester City have met at Emirates on 89 different occasions. Arsenal have the far superior win rate with 55 wins to City’s 15 and 19 matches ending in draws. Arsenal won this fixture 1-0 in the league last season but lost by the same score in the League Cup.
Arsenal drew against Southampton in their only Premier League fixture in January so far. They were also solid through December winning every game apart from the 2-0 defeat at home to Swansea.
Manchester City won at home against Stoke City 3-0 on New Year’s Day but they dropped points in three matches in December with defeats to Sunderland and Manchester United and drawing against Everton.
Arsenal v Manchester City Prediction
Arsenal raise themselves when they play against the bigger sides at home and the absence of Aguero from the City attack is a big blow. Arsenal would probably take a point if it was offered to them and it’s likely to be a very cagey match.
Prediction: Arsenal 1-1 Manchester City