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Victory over Man City in the semi-final of the FA Cup last term felt like a watershed moment for the Gunners, with new boss Mikel Arteta transforming them into a tougher proposition to break down.
That was of course backed up by success in the final versus Chelsea, as well as in the community shield against Liverpool, while they’ve also taken down both the Reds and Leicester in this season’s League Cup to reach the quarterfinals.
However, that’s where the good news ends for the hosts and Mikel Arteta has actually won more cup games than league outings in his first job so far, despite taking charge of 51 matches in total now.
The pressure is mounting with Arsenal winning just three times from 10 appearances since early November, as each of those came in the Europa League against teams they should be expected to beat in any case (Molde, Rapid Vienna and Dundalk).
Under 2.5 Goals
Domestically, the Gunners are an abysmal W1-D2-L7 since mid-October and creating chances in particular has become a major issue for them.
Indeed, they scored just four times across these 10 games, drawing a blank on six occasions, though these were typically tight affairs as seven saw fewer than three goals overall.
In fact, against the rest of the traditional ‘Big Six’ and Leicester, Arsenal have seen a maximum of two strikes in eight of 10 clashes going back to that semi-final win over Man City in July.
Five of these featured just a single goal or less, and Arsenal don’t look like out-gunning anyone at present with the three sides in the relegation zone the only teams to score fewer league goals this term.
Man City To Win To Nil
The prospects of this being a low-scoring encounter are raised by Man City’s own form. Pep Guardiola’s outfit survived a potential banana skin last time out as they downed Southampton 1-0, with yet another clean sheet as they’ve conceded just once across their past eight now in all competitions.
10 of the visitor’s last 11 domestic matches have seen fewer than three goals, with four of their five wins over this period finishing 1-0 or 2-0, including the former scoreline when these two sides last met in October.
At least one team has failed to score in seven of eight head to heads since 2018, with Man City winning seven of the eight, and six without conceding.
Five of the Gunners’ last seven defeats against anyone have seen them fail to score, with four finishing either 1-0 or 2-0, and those appear the most likely outcomes here.
In further bad news for the Gunners, Granit Xhaka remains suspended and midfield partner Thomas Partey is still sidelined through injury, while they’re also joined by star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who missed the weekend defeat to Everton.
Guardiola has a few concerns with Aymeric Laporte, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Eric Garcia and Gabriel Jesus all doubts, but there’s not doubt Arsenal are worse off on the team news front.