Manchester City, they of the 17 straight victories in all competitions, the side that hasn’t lost in the Premier League since November, pay a visit to Arsenal and the Emirates today. I have no expectations for this match. The Gunners are probably losing this one. Arsenal have been playing better since Boxing Day, but Manchester City look an unstoppable juggernaut right now. They’ve also beaten Arsenal in seven straight in the league and have routinely scored 3+ goals against the Gunners while doing so.
The Gunners have an extremely important second leg against Benfica this upcoming Thursday, and I hope that Mikel Arteta rests players with an eye to that contest. Emile Smith Rowe needs some time off, as does Bukayo Saka. I’m not sure where Kieran Tierney’s fitness is (he got a run out against Benfica last Thursday), but however he is handled today should be geared towards having him back in-form for the Europa League. Basically, Arsenal should mail this one in. Obviously, they should still try for a result, but points aren’t likely today. Thursday’s match is infinitely more important.
Arsenal take on Manchester City in the Premier League at the Emirates this afternoon.
The Gunners are strong underdogs for the match against a side that Mikel Arteta described earlier this week as one of the best around.
“I think they are the best team in Europe at the moment,” he said. “The way they are performing, the football they are playing and the consistency of the results take all that it an it makes them the best team.
“So we have a big but as well a very exciting challenge ahead of us on Sunday.”
Date: Sunday, Feb. 21
Time: 11:30 a.m. ET
Location: Emirates Stadium — London, England
TV channel: N/A
Odds: Arsenal +550; Draw +325; City -195 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Pep Guardiola could call upon Kevin De Bruyne, who returned off the bench at Everton this week following seven games out, while Sergio Aguero might be in line for an appearance after making the last two matchday squads. Ilkay Gundogan missed the Everton win, but is likely to be back in contention, although Nathan Ake is expected to be absent despite returning to individual training.
The Blues have a good record at the Emirates Stadium, winning there at the start of their current winning run back in December, but will be wary of the Gunner’s gradual improvement under familiar face Arteta.