Betting: Three points make Pep and Arsene's Christmas list

 
Ben Cleminson
West Ham United v Arsenal - Premier League
Alexis Sanchez is the Premier League's top scorer with 12 strikes so far this term (Source: Getty)

Nothing but three points will be on Pep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger’s Christmas lists as Manchester City host Arsenal at the Etihad on Sunday.

The title challengers meet, with each left to rue missed opportunities this term.

Both have led the way at the top of the Premier League this season – City from August until November, and Arsenal as recently as last weekend.

However, sloppy dropped points have allowed Chelsea to pull away from the pack after a run of ten straight victories.

The Blues are confirmed as the Christmas number one, and could even be nine points clear by kick-off in Manchester.

City’s defence gift-wrapped victory for Leicester last weekend, with Pep Guardiola’s back-line becoming a real concern.

While a clean-sheet in a 2-0 win over Watford on Wednesday will help soothe a few nerves, it was just the third shutout in 13 league games since keeper Claudio Bravo’s arrival.

That win was City’s first at home since September – a run that has seen them slip from four points clear at the top, to seven points off the lead in fourth.

Premier League joint top scorer Alexis Sanchez, who has six goals in his last four games, will be licking his lips.

However, Arsenal have some defensive issues of their own, failing to stop their opponents scoring in their last eleven games in all competitions.

They let a lead slip midweek to lose 2-1 at Everton, with the Toffees exploiting the absence of Shkodran Mustafi in the heart of the Gunners defence.

That first defeat since the opening day will be incredibly frustrating for Arsene Wenger after three comprehensive victories on the spin.

Both sides have obvious quality, but, at the same time, have some serious flaws. I can’t split them.

Betway make it 5/2 for the draw, which I like the look of.

Arsenal’s fans certainly haven’t been leaving early recently – their match at West Ham saw goals in the 72nd, 80th, 84th and 86th minutes.

Having also conceded an 86th minute goal on Wednesday, I fancy another late show on Sunday.

It’s a risky strategy, but buying the time of the last match goal at 68 with Sporting Index could make for a Christmas bonus.

Pointers

Draw - 5/2 (Betway)

Sell last match goal - 68 (Sporting Index)

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