ARSENAL vs MANCHESTER CITY
Sunday – 4.00pm Sky Sports 1
ROBERTO Mancini could be forgiven for playing Oasis’s ‘Where Did It All Go Wrong?’ on repeat on his iPod. Just over a month ago Manchester City were still five points clear of local rivals Manchester United, but now, with only seven games to go, they are five points adrift.
City were playing such incredible football in the first half of the season that they were huge favourites to win the title, but we’ve seen time and time again that teams have to perform consistently throughout the nine-month campaign if they’re going to finish top. In fairness to Mancini’s side, they have only lost one of their past eight league games, but back-to-back draws against Stoke and Sunderland have effectively ended their title dreams.
The problem for City is that they have dropped points in games they shouldn’t have and Sunday’s test against Arsenal could prove a step too far. The Gunners have won seven of their last eight league games and although they lost at QPR last weekend they have been in excellent form at the Emirates.
With United hosting QPR at Old Trafford earlier on Sunday afternoon, I have little doubt that City will be eight points behind come kick-off and that will be very difficult psychologically for the City players to overcome. Mario Balotelli is clearly a talented but erratic figure and both David Silva and Sergio Aguero look shadows of the players they were earlier this term.
Another worry for City is their defence, having shipped seven goals in their last four games across all competitions, and they just look like a side whose confidence has been shot to pieces. City can be backed at 7/4 with Coral, but Paddy Power’s 6/4 about an Arsenal win is more appealing.
Games between these two clubs haven’t been especially high scoring in recent years, with one or both teams failing to score in eight of the past nine meetings. Coral offer 8/5 about just one team scoring and that seems a reasonable bet. They are also refunding losing bets on first goalscorer, correct score and scorecasts if the last goal of the game is scored directly from a penalty.
Robin van Persie has to be of interest in the first goalscorer market at a general 4/1 and I wouldn’t be surprised if Arsenal were to win this 1-0. However, my other main bet is a sell of goals at 2.8 with Sporting Index.
Arsenal at 6/4 with Paddy Power
One team only to score at 8/5 with Coral
Sell total match goals at 2.8 with Sporting Index