Man City vs Arsenal preview: De Bruyne misses out

Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Man City vs Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday; kick-off 12.30pm.

Team news

Manchester City are again without playmaker Kevin De Bruyne for the visit of Arsenal in the Premier League.

The Belgium international is still troubled by the ankle injury first suffered during Euro 2020 and will also not be playing for his country in the coming fortnight.

Midfielder Phil Foden (foot) is City’s only other injured player, but he is expected to return after the international break.

Arsenal have Bukayo Saka fit and available after he recovered from a knock to his knee in the 6-0 Carabao Cup second-round win at West Brom.

Ben White missed the Hawthorns rout and defeat to Chelsea having tested positive for Covid, but could be involved.

Fellow centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes is training following a knee injury and Hector Bellerin (thigh) is also back, but Thomas Partey and Eddie Nketiah (both ankle) remain sidelined.

How to follow

Follow Man City vs Arsenal in our dedicated live match blog; kick-off 12.30pm on Saturday. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel at 5.15pm.

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We look ahead to Matchweek 3 in the Premier League as Liverpool host Chelsea, Arsenal travel to Manchester City, and Wolves take on Manchester United

Last time out…

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea’s win against Arsenal

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Highlights from Manchester City’s win against Norwich

Prediction: Jones Knows writes…

Just when you thought Arsenal have been kicked while they’re down enough, Manchester City come calling.

At least the expectation level could not be lower. They are 12/1 with Sky Bet to leave with maximum points – that must be the biggest price an Arsenal team have ever been in the last 25 years to win a Premier League football match.

Manchester City have won each of the last eight Premier League meetings between the two, scoring 19 and conceding just two goals. Arsenal have never lost eight consecutive league games against any opponent but it’s just 2/9 with Sky Bet for that to happen on Saturday lunchtime. Those quotes of 12/1 for a team that possess such quality players like Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka probably is a little insulting to the Gunners, but they meet a City team that relish keeping clean sheets and defending properly. It remains an underrated part of their game. A low-scoring City win looks the smartest play.

My punting pulse has been drawn to the cards market though, where I really rate the 2/1 with Sky Bet on the chances of City being shown more cards than Arsenal.

The match scenario and pattern is an obvious one to work out. Arsenal will try to soak up pressure by defending deep and springing through quick transitions – in a similar vein to what Tottenham did on the opening weekend vs City. Smith Rowe, Saka, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are all speedy customers to deal with on the break and City are well-versed and seemingly encouraged to break up those attacks with cynical challenges.

Despite their poor red card record, Arsenal are relatively well behaved, ranking 17th for total bookings last season and teams that defend deep rarely commit yellow-card-worthy fouls.

This is a bet that would have won in four of the last five City home games and would have romped home during this fixture last season where City racked up four cards to Arsenal’s one. The 2/1 with Sky Bet looks incredibly generous.


BETTING ANGLE: Manchester City to have more booking points (2/1 with Sky Bet)

Opta stats

  • Manchester City are unbeaten in their last 11 league games against Arsenal (W9 D2) since a 2-1 defeat at the Emirates in December 2015. They’ve taken 28 of a possible 30 points against the Gunners under Pep Guardiola (W9 D1).
  • Arsenal have lost each of their last eight Premier League meetings with Manchester City, their joint-longest run of consecutive defeats against a specific opponent in their league history (also 8 vs Leeds between 1973-1976).
  • Man City have kept a clean sheet in six of their last seven league meetings with Arsenal, including the last four in a row since a 3-1 home win in February 2019.
  • Arsenal have lost their last six games against reigning Premier League champions, conceding exactly three goals in each of the last five. The Gunners have won just one of their last 17 away league games against reigning champions (D6 L10), with that victory coming at Manchester City in January 2015 (2-0).
  • Manchester City have won both of their last two Premier League home games by a 5-0 scoreline. In Premier League history, only Man City themselves (October 2017) and Chelsea (August 2010) have won three consecutive home games by 5+ goals before.
  • Arsenal have lost their opening two league games for the second time in the last four seasons, having done so in just one of their previous 63 campaigns before this. In their league history, the Gunners have only lost each of their first three league games on four occasions – 1894-95 (second tier), 1921-22, 1923-24 and 1954-55 (all top-flight).
  • Arsenal have failed to score in their first three league games in just two of their previous 117 seasons, doing so in 1904-05 and 1953-54. However, they picked up at least one point in their opening three games in both of those campaigns.
  • Arsenal have had 28 shots in their two Premier League games this season, but have an expected goals total of just 1.54. Their xG-per-shot of just 0.06 is the joint-lowest in the division so far this season.
  • Man City’s Raheem Sterling has been involved in seven goals in his last six Premier League appearances against Arsenal (5 goals, 2 assists), netting in each of his last four against the Gunners including the only goal in both meetings last term.
  • Man City’s RĂºben Dias (72) and Jack Grealish (60) have made more ball carries than any other players in the Premier League so far this season, while Grealish has carried the ball further than anyone else so far (739 metres).

Essential Football Podcast: Jamie Redknapp on Liverpool vs Chelsea and Harry Kane’s golf skills! | Plus: Man Utd on the brink of a record

Liverpool and Chelsea go head-to-head at Anfield live on Sky Sports on Saturday night and Jamie Redknapp joins Peter Smith on the Essential Football Podcast to preview the big clash between two Premier League title hopefuls.

PART 1: It’s Virgil Van Dijk vs Romelu Lukaku at Anfield this weekend – but who will come out on top? Jamie Redknapp gives his verdict. Plus, the Sky Sports pundit reflects on Harry Kane staying at Spurs – and reveals what the striker is like on the golf course!

PART 2: Sky Sports Football journalist Charlotte Marsh takes a look at a new role for Adama Traore for a Wolves side who have managed 42 shots but 0 goals in their first two Premier League games, and we dissect Man Utd’s remarkable run of results away from home.

PART 3: We preview Leeds’ trip to Burnley and Data Editor Adam Smith names the statistically best-performing English players across Europe from the opening rounds – with several surprise names in the side!

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