Finally, football will return today and the second game on the schedule is Man City v Arsenal and I am full of confidence that the lads will pick up points against the current Premier League champions at the Etihad this evening.
If this was a different time under different circumstances then I would accept that a win or even a draw against City would be a big ask but we really are in a strange period right now and that could work out perfectly for Mikel Arteta’s men.
I believe there are some good reasons why Arsenal will get something from this game and here are five of them for you to ponder.
The truth is that City will not have the same intensity as Arsenal this evening, they simply cannot, they have nothing to play for and all the professionalism and urging by Pep Guardiola will not change that.
Arsenal has something to play for and that will be matched by their intensity and motivation. A loss or draw for City is basically meaningless to them but for Arsenal, it could have a big effect.
Arteta knows this City side inside out, he knows their thinking and knows how they will approach this game, he knows their weaknesses better than almost anyone and will set up Arsenal to take advantage, that is a certainty.
The Spaniard will use everything he has learned and soaked up from his time as Guardiola’s assistant and that will irritate and frustrate the Citizens.
Put it this way, how often does a former manager or asisstant get one over their old boss, look at what Frank Lampard’s Chelsea keep doing to Jose Mourinho’s Spurs as an example.
One of the reasons that City do get beat from time to time is that they get complacent, you can see it when they mess around on the ball for too long, they think that they just have to turn up to win and results this season have proven that to be the case.
Think about it this way, City have actually lost more times in the Premier League this season than Arsenal, seven to six. that makes them very beatable and there has to be a reason why a team that collected 100 points last season and recently beat Real Madrid in their own stadium loses so often. It is complacency.
City’s defence is vulnerable
Yes, City lost Aymeric Laporte early and he will be back for this game but he is hardly match fit and the truth of the matter is that their defence has been a bit of a shambles this season. They have conceded 31 goals to Arsenal’s 36 and remember, our defence has been derided all season long.
Leicester City, Man Utd and even Sheffield United have conceded less than City this campaign, in fact, Crystal Palace have conceded just one more than Guardiola’s men this season.
I know Arsenal’s defence is nothing special but this is not about Arsenal, it is about City and their defence can be beaten and we have the men to do it.
Arsenal have an abundance of speed in their team, Kieran Tierney, Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Bukayo Saka and even Hector Bellerin and against a rusty defence our lads can cause havoc.
City will have the most possession for sure but that means that the possibility of counter attacks is massive and I fully expect that Arteta will school the lads in doing exactly that, countering at speed.
Man City v Arsenal is going to be a great game for the fans and based on the reasons listed and more I am confident that at the very least we will come away from the Etihad with at least one point and possibly all three.