- Arsenal host Manchester City in the Premier League’s 21st Matchday on Saturday, January 1st at 7:30 am ET
- Manchester City have a commanding eight point lead atop the Premier League table, with a game in hand, while Arsenal sit comfortably in fourth place
- Get the odds, analysis, and betting prediction below
The first Premier League match of 2022 is a fascinating encounter between Arsenal and Manchester City on Saturday morning at the Emirates Stadium, in London.
Arsenal, a side without their best player in years past, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, look like a squad possessed with a newfound confidence and culture. Pep Guardiola’s understudy, Mikel Arteta will be sidelined with COVID-19 on Saturday, meaning Albert Stuivenberg and Steve Round will be on the touchline for the Gunners. Regardless, it is clear and ever-so fascinating that this Arsenal side have transformed themselves from a shambolic disaster to a young and frightening top-four contender.
Arsenal vs Manchester City Odds
|Arsenal vs Manchester City||ARS +1 (+108) | MCI -1 (-130)||ARS +550 | MCI -205 | DRAW +370||Ov 3.5 (+140) | Un 3.5 (-177)|
Odds as of Dec 30th at Barstool Sportsbook
Conversely, Manchester City will travel to the Emirates Stadium, looking as menacing and consistent as ever. In many ways, Manchester City are the antithesis of Arsenal Football Club. The Citizens have a defined style of play and are utterly ruthless, not just against the Norwich and Leeds, but instead some of the biggest clubs in world football.
SIGN UP BONUS
Get Bet Insurance Up To $1,000
Right now, Manchester City look stronger and hungrier than ever before, even without a traditional number nine.
Breaking Down the Gunner’s Excellent Form
Now, let us revert back to the hosts ahead of Saturday’s New Year’s clash. Arsenal are 7-1-1 at home this season and have put up five wins in a row in all competitions. At face value, Mikel Arteta will happily take those results, given their horrific run of form they endured during the end of November.
First, credit needs to be given to Arsenal’s young Hale End talent that has showed out in December. Emile Smith-Rowe has been team of the season quality so far this year with eight goals and two assists in the top flight. The 21 year-old is in the 99th percentile for attacking midfielders and wingers in Europe’s top five leagues in regards to passing percentage as well.
⚽️ Best conversion rate in the Premier League this season (20+ shots):
🥇 Emile Smith Rowe – 32%
🥈 Bernardo Silva – 30.4%
🥉 Jamie Vardy – 25% pic.twitter.com/MOKjFqPNIM
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) December 30, 2021
Furthermore, Bakayo Saka is back to his scoring best with three goals in his last two Premier League matches. Alexandre Lacazette is stepping up in the absence of Aubameyang and we might finally be seeing the best of Brazilian, Gabriel Martinelli. Did we mention Aaron Ramsdale? Surely, he is within a shout for goalkeeper of the season, saving 75.8% of the shots he has faced.Advertising Disclosure
Sadly, there is a but to all of this hype. Despite Arsenal’s form and individual talent, they are not quite at the levels to compete with England’s toughest sides. When playing teams in England’s “top six”, Arsenal are only 1-4 this season, being outscored 15-5. One of those matches was a 5-0 thrashing against Manchester City at the start of the season.
Manchester City Will Exploit the Left Side
More over, Arsenal’s absentee list for Saturday does not make their task any easier. They will not only be without their gaffer, but also the likes of Takehiro Tomiyasu, Calum Chambers, Cedric Soares and Ainsley Maitland Niles. In turn, Ben White is going to have to play on the right side of the defense, in an unnatural position.
We all know Pep likes to mix things up on his front line. The left winger could be Phil Foden, Jack Grealish or Raheem Sterling. Whoever he does decide to put there is going to have a field day in my opinion. White has been steady this season, I just forsee him needing him which could be a liability on the right of the defense, or in the middle as either Rob Holding or Gabriel get pulled out of position.
Arsenal vs Manchester City Premier League Statistics
|1.68||Goals per game||2.55|
|1.52||Expected goals per game||2.37|
|1.21||Goals allowed per game||0.60|
|1.40||Expected goals allowed per game||0.68|
|82.2%||Passing Accuracy %||90.1%|
|14.9||Shots per game||18.8|
Lastly, this goes without hardly mentioning the difference in class in these two midfields. Arsenal’s duo of Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka is a calamity, while City’s trio of Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho serves as the crux of their Goliath team. Simply put, Arsenal’s midfield is going to get outrun for 90 minutes.
— Fernandinho (@fernandinho) December 29, 2021
Arsenal vs Manchester City Best Bet
Overall, the best bet for this match is Manchester City to cover the -1.5 spread with odds of +138. Manchester City have won ten in a row in the Premier League, and have beaten Arsenal by multiple goals in nine of their last 12 meetings.
Pick: Manchester City -1.5 (+138)