Manchester City and Arsenal define their intentions for the Premier League

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Manchester City and Arsenal are expecting to scrape together some points and score goals against their direct rival.

Manchester City and Arsenal are back facing each other in a new high-level match at the Eithad Stadium in Manchester. "High level" because of the game quality that both squads have developed during the Premier League; also because, at this point in the season, every mid-board match is a factor that should be taken into consideration in the goal difference, because at this point, every victory as visitor team is worth double... or triple, who knows?
What do statistics tell us? Over the last four years, the matches between Manchester City and Arsenal have offered a neutral global balance, with 50% of victories, draws and defeats each team.
We are not forgetting about the 6-3 result of December 2013 in the Premier League and the 3-0 in the Community Shield, the English Superleague, last August, both of which were victories for Arsenal; however, in the final score, balance is the rule lately between the 'Gunners' and the 'Citizens'.
First-leg match
Do you remember the first-leg match? In the first-leg match of the Premier League played last September, Arsenal and Manchester City had a 2-2 draw. It was a match full of rhythm. What is incredible is that both teams went into the field with the exact player formation: a conservative 4-5-1. This is an example of the respect for the other team and the precautions taken against their direct rival. Both of them have serious intentions of playing in the Champions and they have been playing their own league for many matchdays at the first-third of the board, the one that defines the season.
On that fourth matchday, at the Emirates Stadium, Manchester was a bit more in possession of the ball, but Arsenal fired more times against the goal, and, surprisingly, they didn’t have any corner shots. They preferred to play a more direct and vertical game, with one forward and many supports. Agüero escorted by Navas and David Silva on the Manchester City side; with Welbeck as forward, and Sánchez and Özil (former Real Madrid player) assisting.
Pellegrini’s team (former Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga) held their own during the entire match until a stroke of luck laid the ball at the feet of Demichelis for the definite draw (minute 83), which must have tasted like sweet luck for the team. Wenger tried to save the match during the final minutes, replacing Welbeck, Flamini and Debuchy by a midfielder and a fresher forward.
The new match between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Eithad Stadium anticipates what both teams have done in and out of their home grounds each matchday of the Premier League. In early January 2015, Arsenal was still one of the best four visitor teams of the English league, with 19 out of 33 points won. Manchester, on the other hand, is among the three or four best defensive teams of the season, with 23 out of 33 points won. Until 2015, they had only lost one match.
These are the data, and these are the conditions for a match that will certainly be remembered at the end of the season as a key match for the outcome of the Premier League. What about you? Are you going to miss it?
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