Manchester City play host to Arsenal on Wednesday night as the Premier League makes its eagerly awaited return. It's one of the Premier League's two games in hand, and it has everything to be a real treat.
City will be looking to boost their chances of earning a Champions League spot. Pep Guardiola’s side are 25 points behind leaders Liverpool, and will be focused on distancing themselves from Leicester City, just four points behind in third.
City's opponents are themselves looking at outside hopes of European qualification, sitting in ninth place but unbeaten in the league since the turn of the year.
Where to Watch
The break in action has allowed City a moment to regroup and recover from some injury concerns. Aymeric Laporte has spent most of the season out with a knee injury followed by a hamstring injury, but the defender has been back in training and should start on Wednesday night. Leroy Sane is back after missing the whole season with a torn ACL, while Kevin De Bruyne and John Stones have returned to action.
Mikel Arteta has no new injury concerns, and will be picking from a mostly fit squad – with Calum Chambers out and Lucas Torreira a doubt.
Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Laporte, Otamendi, Mendy; Foden, Rodri, De Bruyne; Sane, Aguero, Sterling.
Arsenal: Leno; Bellerin, Luiz, Sokratis, Tierney; Ozil, Xhaka, Ceballos; Pele, Aubameyang, Martinelli.
Head to Head Record
Arsenal have historically had the upper hand over City, but in recent times it's been the reigning champions who have dominated. City have won the past six meetings between the clubs - scoring at least three goals in five of them.
The reverse fixture this season saw a Kevin De Bruyne masterclass blow Arsenal away 3-0 at the Emirates, with all three goals coming in the first half.
Manchester City will be hoping to get back to winning ways after losing the Manchester derby the last time they took to the pitch, but they have fared quite well since since the turn of the year – only losing to Spurs and United.
Arsenal have managed to avoid defeat in the league in 2020, but damaging draws against Sheffield United, Burnley and Crystal Palace have disrupted their chase for European football – as did their shock defeat to Olympiakos in the Europa League.
Here's how the two teams have fared in their last five outings.
Sheffield United 0-1 Manchester City (21/1)
Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Manchester City (2/2)
Manchester City 2-0 West Ham United (19/2)
Leicester City 0-1 Manchester City (22/2)
Manchester United 2-0 Manchester City (8/3)
Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal (21/1)
Burnley 0-0 Arsenal (2/2)
Arsenal 4-0 Newcastle (16/2)
Arsenal 3-2 Everton (23/2)
Arsenal 1-0 West Ham (7/3)
While Arsenal were in decent form before the break, it's hard to look past City on this occasion. With De Bruyne and Laporte back from injury, they're going to be a hard team to break down.
This game could well follow the trend of recent years, with City scoring three goals and coming away with a resounding win.
Prediction: Manchester City 3-0 Arsenal
Source : 90min