After a winning selection on Manchester City last week, Luke Moore is back to preview their visit to Arsenal...
"Somewhat predictably, Over 2.5 Goals is firmly odds-on at 1.768/11 but before you dive in expecting an open, attacking game, Opta tell us that, on average, this fixture only yields 2.56 goals per game and may not quite be the goal-fest you're expecting. The value lies on the other end of the market."
Arsenal v Man City
Monday 21 December, 20:00
Live on Sky Sports 1
With just one defeat in their last ten games in the Premier League, Arsenal are in good shape ahead of the traditionally busy Christmas period. They currently sit in second, five points behind this season's pace-setters Leicester City, and know that avoiding defeat here against Man City will see them in fine fettle going into the Boxing Day fixtures.
Although beset with injuries (as usual), the Gunners have managed to handle things very well - players like Joel Campbell and Mathieu Flamini have stepped into the breach and performed admirably as understudies - and the visit of Manchester City is a test they'll surely relish with a view to trying to lift their first title since 2004.
Alexis Sanchez may well be back and give Arsene Wenger a selection headache, but he is likely to start on the bench.
Sitting one point behind Arsenal, largely due to two poor results against Stoke and Liverpool in their last four games, Manuel Pellegrini's Man City also know they're in spitting distance of the league's summit and will use Arsenal's traditional weakness against the top teams as motivation.
Sergio Aguero could come back and replace Wilfried Bony (who has done a decent job deputising), and that will further focus the mind for City; having a world class target and finisher up top will make a world of difference, and the excellent defensive partnership of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker will be tested to the limit by both the diminutive Argentinian and the skillful set of attacking midfielders sure to line up behind him.
Fernando and Pablo Zabaleta are both out injured.
Arsenal's excellent form this season means they'll go into the game as favourites, and they currently trade at 2.427/5 to win on Monday night. Man City are further out in the betting, at 3.1511/5. The Draw is priced at a favourable 3.613/5, when one takes into account the fact that a draw suits both parties nicely and how evenly-matched the teams are.
I have to say, I do like The Draw here for reasons stated above, and I'm surprised to see it priced so generously.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
Somewhat predictably, Over 2.5 Goals is firmly odds-on at 1.768/11 but before you dive in expecting an open, attacking game, Opta tell us that, on average, this fixture only yields 2.56 goals per game and may not quite be the goal-fest you're expecting.
As I've said, a draw suits both parties and both will be wary of losing it. What's more, the teams could simply cancel each other out. Unders at 2.285/4 looks far more appealing to this writer.
This market is worth a mention, because as my colleague Alan Thompson says, this could well be a stalemate. To that end, 0-0 at 16.5, 1-0 at 12.011/1 and 1-1 at 8.27/1 all hold appeal if you fancy playing in this market.
Back The Draw at 3.613/5
Back Under 2.5 Goals at 2.285/4
Luke Moore 2015/16 Premier League P/L
2014/15 P/L: +4.92pts