Manchester City hosts Arsenal at the Etihad in a fixture from the third round of the Premier League. Let’s preview this clash in our soccer predictions online for today.
The reigning champions Manchester City kicked off their campaign with a loss against Tottenham, but in the second round they won their first three points for the season. Pep Guardiola’s team faced Norwich City at home and celebrated a convincing 5-0 win at home. The new signing Jack Grealish scored his first goal for the club while Aymeric Laporte, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez also scored for the hosts. Meanwhile Norwich’s Tim Krul scored himself an own goal.
Man City played a very good game against the Canaries, so now the fans expect more of the same against Arsenal. The Cityzens are still failing in their efforts to sign Tottenham’s Harry Kane, so once again it was Ferran Torres who led the attack against Norwich City. Jack Grealish and Gabriel Jesus started alongside him while Gundogan, Rodri and Bernardo Silva formed the midfield trio. In the second half Guardiola picked players like Sterling, Palmer and Mahrez from the bench.
Some players are still missing in Manchester City’s squad. Kevin De Bruyne could eventually return to the team against Arsenal, but John Stones and Phil Foden remain sidelines with their latest injuries. Luckily for Guardiola, he has enough depth in the squad to fill these gaps. The return of Kevin De Bruyne would be an excellent boost, though – the Belgian remains probably the most important player in the team.
The Spanish international Aymeric Laporte returned to the team and partnered Ruben Dias as a centre-back against Norwich. It’s being rumoured that Laporte wants to leave the club until the end of the summer transfer window, but now he’s needed in the absence of John Stones. Against Tottenham Guardiola used Nathan Ake in the line-up, but this time he preferred to use Laporte.
It’s quite confusing for the fans that Oleksandr Zinchenko didn’t start for a second consecutive time in the previous game. The Ukrainian international started in the Champions League final and he was very good at the Euro 2020, but so far Guardiola prefers to keep him on the bench. He started Joao Cancelo on the left flank against Norwich while Kyle Walker acted on his usual position at the right back.
It was great news for Manchester City that Jack Grealish scored his first goal for the club. The Cityzens paid a lot of money for the former Aston Villa captain, so for him it was important to increase his confidence at this early stage of his career at the Etihad. Guardiola used him on different positions in the first two matches of the new season, so maybe the manager is still looking for the best way to use him. Nobody can doubt Grealish’s quality, so it’d be really exciting to see how he will do at a much bigger club like Man City.
Arsenal didn’t start the 2021/22 season in the way they expected. The Gunners have 0 points after the first two rounds after the defeats against Brentford and Chelsea. In these two matches Arsenal didn’t score any goals as well. The pressure around the manager Mikel Arteta gets bigger now and many fans want to see his resignation. So far Arteta refuse to leave the club and let’s be honest here – it has been just two rounds of the season so far.
In the previous round Arsenal hosted Chelsea at the Emirates, but suffered a 0-2 defeat against the current champions of Europe. Romelu Lukaku and Reece James scored for the Blues while Arsenal didn’t find a way to rival their opponents. It was another poor performance from Arteta’s team.
Obviously Mikel Arteta still tries to find the best line-up for his team at the moment. Against Chelsea he left Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Elneny, Calum Chambers and Nuno Tavares on the bench and picked players such as Cedric Soares and Albert Lokonga instead. The star winger Bakayo Saka returned in the starting eleven after starting from the bench against Brentford, but his performance was also not enough for Arsenal to trouble Chelsea.
Sadly for Arteta, he can’t use the summer signing Ben White for the next game. The manager admitted that the centre-back is unavailable for selection due to injury. White didn’t play against Chelsea as well. Arteta used Pablo Mari and Rob Holding in defense against the Blues.
Two players could return for Arsenal against Manchester City, though. The French striker Alexandre Lacazette got a green light to play after recovering from COVID-19. At the same time Martin Odegaard could play again after being bought from Real Madrid. Last season the Norwegian midfielder played for the Gunners on loan, but now he’s a property of the club. The fans expect some terrific things from Odegaard and they will be excited to see what he can do on the pitch this season.
Arsenal’s fans are now losing hope that something could change for the better right now. The club spent more than 100 million pounds on the market and nothing tells us that positive change is around the corner. The team still looks poor on the field and the lack of ideas is evident. Most probably Arteta’s time is running out. He could be one of the first managers to be sacked this season. Of course, another thing that could happen is to see Arsenal improving. The return of players like Martin Odegaard and Thomas Partey could increase the quality of the team. They must act quick, though – Arsenal are currently 19th in the Premier League table.
In our soccer predictions online we believe that Manchester City are in a very good place to chase the three points against Arsenal. The champions looked very good against Norwich City in the previous round while we can’t say the same about the Gunners. Arsenal look lost and out of ideas at the moment, so it’d be very difficult for them to match the Cityzens. This is Manchester City’s game to lose.