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Can Arsenal Do It?
City were expected to challenge for the title this season, but Arsenal have taken us all by surprise. It was, after all, only 11 months ago when the Gunners were outclassed by Newcastle at St James’ Park and Mikel Arteta’s top-four hopes were put to bed, something infamously documented in Arsenal’s All Or Nothing documentary.
The red half of North London had endured a tough 21/22 season, losing their first three games without scoring, becoming rooted to the bottom of the table for a while, before losing out on the Champions League right at the very end.
Impressive transfer business and the development of key players, though, has transformed Arsenal into the team they are now - with William Saliba, Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, and Gabriel Jesus all staking down a claim for Player of the Season.
The once-invincible club has now gone 19 years without a league title and they’re just weeks away from glory. The near-misses of 2007/08 and 2015/16 seem like a distant memory now as Arsenal haven’t shown this level of consistency since their last league triumph, but, as Manchester City will tell you, it only takes one mistake for Guardiola’s side to punish their opposition.
City Aim For Three In A Row
Only Manchester United have won three Premier League titles in a row, but their cross-town neighbours will be keen to join them on that exclusive list.
City cruised to the title in 2020/21 but had to fend-off stiff competition from Liverpool last season, pipping them by a single point. Considering how consistent Arsenal have been this season, it’s very likely that the race for the Premier League title will once again go down to the wire.
City have lost more games than Arsenal, but Pep Guardiola’s side will go into the game in better form.
The Sky Blues continue to win week after week, whilst Arsenal have surrendered 2-goal leads to the likes of Liverpool and West Ham, and last time out dropped more points in a 3-3 draw against bottom of the table Southampton.
With just three points from a possioble nine from their last three games their grasp on the top-spot has loosened - something City will be keen to take advantage of.
Poor Etihad Record
Anything can happen in the Premier League, but it’s worth noting that Arsenal’s record at the Etihad Stadium is poor, having last won there in January 2015.
The Gunners defeated City in December of that year, but they’ve failed to beat them in the Premier League since then. Arteta defeated Guardiola in the semi-finals of the 2019/20 FA Cup, but this remains his only victory over his former boss.
Arsenal will need to produce their best performance of the season if they wish to defeat City on their own turf, and although they have the quality, Arteta’s side will have to ride their luck in the process.
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