Prediction: Manchester City vs Arsenal

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Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

In what looks set to be a heavyweight FA Cup showdown from the Etihad on Friday night, Manchester City will host title rivals Arsenal.

Manchester City

Starting with the hosts, despite suffering that controversial 2-1 loss away at Old Trafford a fortnight ago, Manchester City have come roaring back. Last seen breezing their way to a 3-0 romp against relegation scrappers Wolves, Pep Guardiola’s men know that they face a real Premier League title battle in 2023. Still sat five points adrift of Friday’s guests, the former Barcelona boss should be boosted by City’s recent success on home soil. Mounting that stunning second-half comeback against top-four hopefuls Tottenham on January 19th as they eventually claimed an epic 4-2 victory at the Etihad, Guardiola’s men have won their last three domestic home fixtures by an aggregate score of 11-2. Extending on their FA Cup adventure thanks to a 4-0 romp against fellow Premier League giants Chelsea earlier in the month, fans around the blue half of Manchester will be desperate for a repeat display here.

Team News

Missing out on last weekend’s 3-0 romp against Wolves with a foot injury, Manchester City are once again sweating over the fitness of England international Phil Foden on Friday night.

With Guardiola expected to make a handful of changes at the Etihad, the likes of Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva and Kalvin Phillips will be hoping for a full recall. Likewise, Stefan Ortega should once again replace Ederson between the sticks here.

Arsenal

As for the visitors, last seen snatching that stunning late 3-2 victory at home against Manchester United, Arsenal are sat in pole position to make real Premier League history this season. Only continuing on what has been a remarkable rise on either side of the World Cup break, Mikel Arteta’s side will head into February holding a five-point buffer over the chasing pack. Laying down another title mark on January 15th as they claimed north London bragging rights thanks to a deserved 2-0 win away at Tottenham, the one-time Manchester City coach finds the mood in his camp at a red-hot high. Receiving a host of plaudits from across Europe, it should also be noted that the Gunners have lost just a single Premier League showdown so far this season. Extending on their FA Cup adventure earlier in the month after breezing past League One outfit Oxford, Arsenal will be desperate to make another statement here.

Team News

Arsenal have confirmed that they will once again be without the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Reiss Nelson and Mohamed Elneny at the Etihad. Bagging six post-World Cup strikes, 23-year-old Eddie Nketiah should once again spearhead Arteta’s charge.

Making the move from Brighton last weekend, Belgium international Leandro Trossard could be in line to make a full debut here.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two Premier League title contenders last met 12 months ago, Manchester City claimed a 2-1 victory at the Emirates.
  • The last four domestic meetings between Manchester City and Arsenal has produced 13 goals.
  • Guardiola’s side have won each of their last three domestic matchups at the Etihad by an aggregate score of 11-2.
  • The Gunners have scored 11 strikes in their last four consecutive domestic contests away from the Emirates.
  • The last time Arsenal made the trip to the Etihad back in August 2021, Friday’s hosts picked up a 5-0 romp.

Conclusion

With all eyes falling on the Etihad this weekend, neutrals will be hoping for an action-packed affair on Friday night. Watching Manchester City come roaring back from that controversial 2-1 loss away at Old Trafford on January 14th, the Sky Blues still hold a fearsome reputation for their free-scoring displays on home soil. On a run that is highlighted by that stellar 4-2 win against Tottenham last week, the reigning Premier League champions have now notched 11 strikes in their last three victories at the Etihad. However, with the Gunners still holding a remarkable five-point buffer at the top of the table, Arteta’s side will be looking to make a real FA Cup statement here. Two English heavyweights who have a habit of producing fireworks, we’re backing chances to come at both ends of the pitch.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

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