Ante-post favourites Manchester City welcome Arsenal to The Etihad on Saturday for an enticing Premier League showdown . Mark O'Haire shares his analysis...
"Man City have seen Both Teams To Score selections in all three of their opening league games of the new campaign, two of which crept above the Over 2.5 Goals line"
Manchester City v Arsenal
Saturday October 17, 17:30
Manchester City foiled by Leeds
Manchester City were forced to take a share of the spoils from their most recent Premier League showdown, a thrilling 1-1 with newly-promoted Leeds. Raheem Sterling's smart 17th-minute finish was the reward for an early siege on the Whites goal and Kevin De Bruyne also hit the woodwork as the Citizens once more came flying out of the blocks.
But not for the first time this term, Pep Guardiola's group were unable to sustain their early pressure. In a gloriously chaotic end-to-end encounter, it was Leeds who appeared the more likely. Ederson was forced into a couple of fine saves before his error allowed the hosts to equalise, although the Brazilian keeper redeemed himself by again thwarting Leeds late on.
New £65m defender Ruben Dias made his debut alongside Aymeric Laporte in the heart of the City defence and Guardiola will hope to have some of his injured stars available again for Saturday. Sterling and De Bruyne are expected to shake-off knocks, with Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Ilkay Gundogan also potentially back in the fold for selection.
Arsenal see off Sheff Utd
Arsenal scored two quick-fire second-half team goals en-route to a 2-1 triumph over Sheffield United before the international break. The Gunners did not really get going until the hour mark when Bukayo Saka headed home. Three minutes later they doubled their lead as Nicolas Pepe's impressive run and finish capped off a fine move with 19 passes.
Mikel Arteta's outfit looked completely in control until the Blades' halved the deficit with six minutes to play, causing a few tense moments late on when the game looked safe. In truth, it was far from Arsenal's best performance of the year but momentum is building and the feel-good factor is returning to The Emirates outfit under the Spaniard's charge.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is expected to be passed fit for Saturday's trip to Manchester despite withdrawing from international duty. However, Kieran Tierney remains unavailable and self-isolating with fellow defenders Pablo Mari Villar, Callum Chambers and Shkodran Mustafi all on the treatment table. Alexandre Lacazette is hoping for a recall.
Gunners the form team?
Manchester City are unbeaten in their last nine Premier League meetings with Arsenal (W7-D2-L0), since a defeat in December 2015. The Citizens have scored at least twice in all nine of these games, and have struck three goals or more in five of their most recent six skirmishes with the Gunners. As hosts, City have W6-D2-L1 against Arsenal.
Man City 40/851.46 have won just four points from their three league games this season, their lowest total at this stage since 2010-11. The hosts are also looking to avoid losing both of their opening two home league games for the first time since 1954 here. City are offered at their biggest price at The Etihad in EPL action since February 2019 when excluding Liverpool.
Arsenal 13/27.60 have won eight of their last 12 Premier League games (W8-D1-L3), more than they had in their previous 28 in the competition. Indeed, since their loss to Brighton in June, no side has picked up more Premier League points than the Gunners (25), who were as big as 10.50 on their last away league trip to face Man City, highlighting their progress.
Expect entertainment at The Etihad
Man City have seen Both Teams To Score selections in all three of their opening league games of the new campaign, two of which crept above the Over 2.5 Goals 4/91.43 line. With the Premier League experiencing a goal bonanza, it makes sense to follow the same path by combining the two angles of attack for a 1.73 shot via the Same Game Multi on Saturday.
Arsenal have managed to get on the scoresheet in all four of their fixtures thus far, recording a solitary shutout against a limited Fulham side. The Gunners have therefore delivered BTTS profit in three matches, with the Over 2.5 Goals barrier beaten in all four games. Expected Goals (xG) figures also support a high-scoring showdown at The Etihad.
Mark's 2020/21 Profit/Loss
Staked: 12.00 pts
Returned: 11.88 pts
P/L: -0.12 pts