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Title defining clash

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Manchester City vs Arsenal preview 

With the Premier League title race neck-to-neck, matchday 30 is sure to have a big impact on where the title will head come May 19. Third-place Manchester City will welcome league leaders Arsenal to the Etihad. Both teams are separated by a point, and this is a game where even Liverpool will have keen eyes, as they would love to pounce on any mistakes that these two sides commit.

Pep Guardiola’s men are currently on a 13-game unbeaten streak but have drawn two in their last five games. The return of Kevin de Bruyne has given City a creative spark in the attack. Erling Haaland is again the top scorer in the league. Jeremy Doku, who was signed in the summer, has been instrumental in topping the charts in the Expected Threat (xT) metric and completing the second-most successful dribbles.

Meanwhile, Arsenal, on the other hand, have been perhaps the most in-form team in the league. Mikel Arteta’s men have won their last eight consecutive games in a row with a total aggregate score of 33-4 during the run. Bukayo Saka has been the star, with 13 goals and eight assists to his name. Martin Odegaard has ably supported him and tops the league in through balls. However, the biggest story has been the recent rise in the form of Kai Havertz, who has scored four and assisted two in the last four games in the league.

Both teams are also in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League, so they have the pressure of the extra games, which is sure to affect their squad depth. The last time the two teams met in the league was on matchday eight when the Gunners ran out winners in a tightly contested game settled by a late goal from Gabriel Martinelli.

If Arsenal win the game, their winning streak will extend to nine games. The last time they did this was in the 2003-04 season when they won the league title undefeated.

Manchester City vs Arsenal predicted lineups

Manchester City lineup

The international break has been hard for Pep Guardiola, who saw several of his players picking up injuries while representing their nations. The biggest blow has undoubtedly been the defender duo of Kyle Walker and John Stones, who have been an integral part of the team. Manuel Akanji and Matheus Nunes also suffered injuries while playing for Switzerland and Portugal. However, they are expected to be fit in time for the clash. Ederson, who picked up an injury in the game against Liverpool, missed the FA Cup clash against Newcastle before the break but will be fit for the game.

Manchester City predicted lineup: Ederson: Ake, Akanji, Dias, Lewis: Rodri, Silva, De Bruyne: Foden, Haaland, Doku

Arsenal lineup

Arsenal also had an injury scare of their own during the international break. Saka and Gabriel Magalhaes had to leave their nations; cap even before a game was played. Both have been integral to the Gunners this season. However, Mikel Arteta has confirmed that the duo, along with Martinelli, are all expected to be fit for the clash. The other two injured players, Thomas Partey and Takehiro Tomiyasu, are also likely to be available for the game. So, barring long-term absentee Jurrien Timber, Arteta has an entire fit squad from which to choose.

Arsenal predicted lineup: Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Jorginho, Rice; Saka, Havertz, Martinelli

Manchester City vs Arsenal predictions

We have already covered the runs of Arsenal, Man City, and Liverpool in an earlier article on the Premier League title race. On paper, the Gunners appear to have the toughest runup of games. Getting through this will need the team to be at its best. And if they manage to come away with something from the Etihad, it will not only be a huge morale boost for their league campaign but also for their continental one.

Meanwhile, Manchester City, on the other hand, still has the chance of replicating their treble from the previous season. Guardiola has managed to make his squad even better and with the support of the home crowd, is likely to get the three points.

FootTheBall predicts a 2-1 win for Manchester City.

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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