Game In Focus- Arsenal Vs Manchester City - Preview analysis and prediction

Last updated : 21 December 2015 By DSG

The Premier League is akin to the top of the Christmas tree around this time of year

The top of the tree is reserved for the star, the brightest and most favoured decoration

At the start of the season many would have assumed that the Arsenal vs Man City clash four days before Christmas would decide who the number one team at Christmas would be

Would it be the title favourites City or the rejuvenated Arsenal?

Incredibly enough it is neither

Leicester City, who were bottom of the League last Christmas, now sit top of the table, five points clear of second place Arsenal

While the London team do have a game in hand it will not knock Leicester off the top

It is an incredible story considering LeicesterÂ’s position a year ago in comparison to today, where they boast a single defeat this season and the fact they are the LeagueÂ’s top scorers with 37 goals, more than Barcelona (36)

With LeicesterÂ’s success in mind it makes victory in this game even more imperative for both teams

Arsenal would stay five points shy of Leicester if they lost while City would be six points short

With a Premier League season which has already had itÂ’s fair share of upsets, no one will be betting their house on Arsenal or Manchester City overturning a large points deficit especially considering LeicesterÂ’s form has shown no signs of abating

Considering they were widely tipped as the favourites before a ball was kicked this season, being in third place at Christmas will not be blessing Manuel Pellegrini with the soundest of nightÂ’s sleep over the festive period

ChelseaÂ’s demise will have only shortened CityÂ’s odds of winning the title with the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool struggling to really put their mark on the season

However City have struggled in recent weeks

Their 4-1 humbling by Liverpool was followed up by a 1-0 Champions League defeat against Juventus

While victory over Southampton provided slight respite, it has not arrested their recent poor form with their 2-0 loss against Stoke preceding an unconvincing victory against struggling Swansea

While City are of course still in the hunt for another Premier League title they have been in no way convincing

Injuries have decimated their first team with the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany all spending time on the side-lines

While CityÂ’s squad is one of enormous depth it must be remembered that the four afore mentioned players would get into any side in the World and are irreplaceable

This is especially pertinent when considering Wilfried Bony, Jesus Navas, Fernando and Martin Demichelis are their replacements

While these players are all very talented in their own way they have struggled to fill the holes left by CityÂ’s talismans which have caused their club to suffer this season

What is most interesting with regard to City is that without any one of Aguero, Silva, Toure or Kompany it completely destroys the balance in the team

Without Aguero they lack a clinical finisher that can score the spectacular or the simple while their is a lack of flair and precision without Silva in the team however the acquisition of Kevin De Bruyne has added another dimension to City

Toure has been a behemoth in midfield for City and while he is not the most defensively sound player on the pitch he is a natural leader that can drag City out of a slump

Kompany is perhaps the most vital player to City though

City have spent millions on finding a player that is as talented as Kompany

Martin Demichelis, Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi have all tried to fill the gap left by their captain and have failed to do so

Either through their own technical deficiencies or their propensity to make mistakes, none have been able to truly stake their claim on the place

This problem at the heart of the defence is exaserbated due to KompanyÂ’s injury problems

If City are to become the all dominating team that their fans and owners want them to be then their biggest priority must be bringing a centre back of World class quality into the team to play alongside Kompany and also to fill in for him when he is injured

Until they can find a defender of the highest quality to partner Kompany, they will continue to struggle in Europe and domestically

Arsenal on the other hand are enjoying one of the most prolific seasons in recent memory

A memorable 2-0 win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League was followed up by a 5-1 thrashing by the Germans

With Arsenal seemingly out of the Champions League, two 1-1 draws with Tottenham and Norwich came either side of a 2-1 loss to West Brom which had Arsenal once again thinking their season would crumble by December

It seemed to be the same old story for Arsenal.

However in recent weeks things have changed

Arsenal have gone through their annual injury crisis but instead of letting it inundate them they have seemed to become stronger as a team for it

The loss of Alexis Sanchez would be enough to dent any teamÂ’s title hopes, however Arsenal have picked up three wins in their last three games with a 3-1 victory over Sunderland before Olivier GiroudÂ’s superb hat-trick saved the GunnerÂ’s Champions League campaign in a 3-0 away win over Olympiacos

Arsenal went on to defeat bottom club Aston Villa 2-0 in a game which Arsenal would likely have lost last season without their new found steely resolve

The players also seem to be hitting form at the right time and maintaining it too

The influence of Petr Cech in goal has been enormous with multiple teammates citing his leadership qualities and experience as hugely important to ArsenalÂ’s campaign not to mention the fact he has brought a safe pair of hands which can potentially earn Arsenal 15 points this season

In conjunction with Cech is the magnificent form of Mesut Ozil

The German has 11 assists in 10 games while he has also set a new record of assisting in seven consecutive games

He in fact has the most assists in Europe this season with 13 while PSGÂ’s Angel di Maria is second with nine

The injuries that have hit Arsenal this term seem to have been most prominent in midfield with Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta all being forced out at some time this season

This injury plague has now extended to ArsenalÂ’s best player, Alexis Sanchez

Sanchez has been a fan favourite ever since his move from Barcelona and it is not difficult to see why

His direct running, silky footwork, abundance of goals and work ethic off the ball have made him one of the Premier LeagueÂ’s most sought after talent

All the afore mentioned qualities are reasons why Wenger will miss having the Chilean in his starting team

While injury has stunted SanchezÂ’s scoring this term restricting him to six goals and a single assist in 14 Premier League games, it is clear that if Arsene Wenger can keep the Chilean fit then there is no reason why Arsenal canÂ’t challenge for the title this season.

This game has become far more than just a straight shoot-out between two title rivals

It is now either Arsenal or Manchester CityÂ’s chance to put space between themselves and the other whilst also making up ground on Leicester City

A draw would suit the leaders who may struggle over the festive period with a smaller squad than that of City and Arsenal

With this in mind it is imperative that Leicester have as much of a lead as they can now

Arsenal will hope to pile on the misery for City who in recent weeks who have looked vulnerable, most notably against Liverpool

While Manchester City will be looking to take advantage of ArsenalÂ’s injury woes with a win that will not only lift them up the table but also provide a much needed confidence boost

This game may also see an abundance of offensive play and perhaps goals with a draw benefiting neither side in their quests to add the 201516 Premier League trophy to their cabinet.

Final Score: Arsenal 3 Manchester City 1.

Source : DSG

Source: DSG