Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday looking to make it 18 wins in a row in all competitions.
The electric form of City have brought them ten points ahead at the top of the Premier League, and considering the absence of Ilkay Gundogan – the most in-form player in the world – the midweek 3-1 victory over Everton was all the more remarkable.
Pep’s side have won their last 17 matches across all competitions, including 12 in the league to move 10 points clear at the top of the table and 22 points above this weekend’s hosts, who sit 10th.
In the coming weeks, that flawless record in 2021 will be checked with a tough run that sees them face Arsenal, Borussia Monchengladbach, West Ham United, and Manchester United in succession, but at the moment they will head into all of those games as strong favorites, such is their supremacy.
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For the last time they struggled to win a game in any competition, you have to go back more than two months to December 15, while their undefeated streak goes back 24 games to their 2-0 loss at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur in November – their last league trip to North London, interestingly.
- A 4-2 win in the last round was a far cry from Arsenal’s average of 1.29 goals scored per Premier League (PL) match this season, but their distinctly average form this campaign (W10, D4, L10) has to be a worry as they face a rampant Manchester City side that became the first team to win four straight away games at Arsenal since Chelsea back in the 1960s after they thrashed the ‘Gunners’ 4-1 here in December.
- Arsenal responded to that defeat by going unbeaten in the six home games following, registering an impressive four clean sheets in the process. With three of Arsenal’s five PL home wins coming after a level first half, they could pull off a shock result over City if they can stop their tendency to concede before HT in PL home H2Hs – they’ve conceded an average of 2.25 first-half goals per fixture across the last four.
- However, City look unstoppable after they became the first team in English footballing history to win their first ten top-flight games of a calendar year, a run that forms part of an incredible 17-game winning streak in all competitions that saw City beat the -1 handicap on 14 occasions, and lead at the break 11 times.
- In fact, City haven’t trailed at any stage across their last 16 PL matches – and are closing in on Arsenal’s 1998/99 record of 19 such games – which has helped them to a ten-match competitive winning run on the road. Another victory here will see them equal their own club record of 11.
- Players to watch: Arsenal fans’ love affair with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continued in the last round after he became only the third player in PL history to score a hat-trick on Valentine’s Day. Meanwhile, Raheem Sterling has scored in four of City’s last five away games – three times after HT.
Arsenal 1 vs 4 Manchester City – Carabao Cup
Manchester City 1 vs 0 Arsenal – Premier League
Arsenal 2 vs 0 Manchester City – FA Cup
Manchester City 3 vs 0 Arsenal – Premier League
Arsenal 0 vs 3 Manchester City – Premier League
Arsenal Predicted lineup:
Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Luiz, Tierney; Ceballos, Xhaka; Saka, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang; Lacazette
Manchester City predicted lineup:
Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Sterling, Foden
Prediction: City have won the last seven PL H2Hs at HT/FT. Final Score Arsenal 1 vs 3 Man City