Rampant City to dispatch Arsenal?

You could win £5,000 for free by predicting what will unfold when Arsenal welcome Manchester City, live on Super Sunday. Here, Billy Lumsden provides the pointers.

Could Manchester City make it 13 Premier League wins in a row as they travel to the Emirates, or will Arsenal quash their woeful record against the champions elect?

You too can get involved with the action – all you need to do is correctly predict how the clash between Arsenal and Man City will pan out – do this, and you could be next winner of £5,000, free of charge!

Super 6 Extra is similar to the game we all know and love, but the beauty of our Sunday special lies in having to correctly predict the answers to six questions to scoop the jackpot:

  • Can you predict the full-time score?
  • Can you predict the half-time score?
  • Who will score the first goal?
  • Who will receive the first card?
  • How many corners will be taken?
  • Who will receive the Man of the Match award?

To do that, you need to know the ins and outs of the teams involved, so here, we provide some support for your selections.

Full-time score: Prediction: Arsenal 0-2 Manchester City (11/1 with Sky Bet)

Arsenal have lost nine of their last 10 encounters with Manchester City, with their only triumph coming in the FA Cup semi final of last season at Wembley. In the last five meetings held at the Emirates, Manchester City have won them all, beating their weekend opponents by an aggregate scoreline of 15-1, with three cases of a 3-0 result.

No Kevin de Bruyne? No problem. The Belgian came off the bench at Everton, but in the five games he has missed, Manchester City have seen off every team in their way, including Liverpool and Tottenham.

This is the key element behind the City machine for me, and the exact reason why I am predicting Pep Guardiola’s side to make it 13 wins on the spin. This is of course strength in-depth. Phil Foden has delivered, Bernardo Silva played phenomenally against Everton, as did Riyad Mahrez.

You take someone out of this team, and a quality player comes in. From Kyle Walker at the back, shifting Joao Cancelo to left back, to Gabriel Jesus up top, with Sergio Aguero waiting on the bench to make his eagerly-awaited return.

Arsenal cannot compete with this, and I do think Guardiola’s side walk the Premier League by at least 15 points, and that is probably being kind. When there is a team displaying such impeccable form, there is little you can do to prevent them.

If Kevin de Bruyne isn’t going to start, Ilkay Gundogan could slot back in, scoring 11 goals in his last 12 matches. Arsenal’s defence is still frail and vulnerable, albeit improved, but when you compare it to the complete picture of Man City, there is no reason to doubt that the visitors come away with the three points comfortably here.

Half-time score: Prediction: Arsenal 0-1 Manchester City (11/2 with Sky Bet)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could face action from Arsenal if he is found to have broken coronavirus rules by getting a tattoo done
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang embraces boss Mikel Arteta after his hat-trick against Leeds

The score was 1-0 to Man City at the interval when these sides last met, with Raheem Sterling scoring after 23 minutes. Arsenal had only been ahead four times out of their 23 matches this season at the break, but they did blitz into a 3-0 lead against Leeds at the Emirates, which bodes well for a clash like this. Mikel Arteta’s men actually scored a fifth of all the goals they have netted inside the first 45 against Leeds.

Saying that, Manchester City have scored just under double the amount of first half goals than their opponents. This pattern could be replicated, as City usually come out of the blocks pretty quick. Once the away side go ahead, they will go into cruise control, and this could set the pattern for proceedings.

First goalscorer: Prediction: Raheem Sterling to score first (9/2 with Sky Bet)

As I alluded to in the last question, Sterling was the difference when City beat Arsenal 1-0 earlier this season, but his record against the Gunners is impressive nonetheless. The England international has scored four Premier League goals in his last five against Arsenal, netting seven in 17 across all competitions against the north-London outfit.

Raheem Sterling runs at Seamus Coleman, who replaced Mina for Everton
Raheem Sterling runs at Seamus Coleman during Manchester City’s latest win

This aside, Sterling has eight goals to his name this season, and provides a great option to open the scoring on Sunday. Speaking of goals against Arsenal, they will be hoping that Sergio Aguero is not named in the starting line-up. The Argentine has scored 11 in 19 across all competitions against Arsenal, so the team sheets is one to keep an eye out once they arrive at 3:30pm Sunday.

Sterling gets the nod for me. He particularly impressed at Liverpool, and the Emirates is a happy hunting ground for the winger. I think he follows suit again here and gets the first, though Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, after his hat-trick last weekend, Gundogan and Foden could be worthy considerations too.

First card: Rodri to receive the first card (10/1 with Sky Bet)

This is a not sought-after feat that many players will be attempting to avoid. Rodri has picked up three yellow cards this season for Manchester City, and with an attacking four of Aubameyang, Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, fouls could be plentiful in and around Arsenal’s final third. It could result in Rodri or Cancelo being drawn into making a foul that will receive the first card.

Notable mentions have to go to Hector Bellerin, who has seven yellows. He will be up against Sterling on the left flank so this could spell trouble, while Granit Xhaka has been brandished a yellow card four times this campaign. He is a ‘walking booking’, so you could play it safe and go for the two points if you think he will be booked across the game if not first on Sunday.

Arsenal have been shown five red cards during 2020/21, so discipline is not in favour of Arteta’s team, though one thing is for sure: bookings will be in abundance from 4:30pm Sunday. Make your selections here.

Total corners: Prediction: 10 corners to be taken (8-10 corners taken: 2/1 with Sky Bet)

There were 12 corners in the reverse fixture, with each side taking six each on the night. Again, I think it will be a similar case in this contest, though I think the visitors will edge out Arsenal in the corner count too. They never rest on their laurels and will push for a second and third to kill the game, so the corners could increase rapidly throughout the 90 minutes.

Choose wisely, as it could be the difference between £5,000 and being empty-handed!

Man of the Match: Prediction: Ilkay Gundogan to earn MOTM

Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan
Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan celebrates another goal

Backing Sterling to score the first, it can usually play out that the significant scorers take home most of the accolades from the game, but not in this one. Gundogan has been in fine fettle and should come straight back into the side if fit, so he is the current frontrunner, alongside Foden who scored in his last visit to the Emirates in the Carabao Cup.

Tiebreaker – Possession: Prediction: Arsenal 36 per cent – 64 per cent Manchester City

Manchester City saw 58.5 per cent of the ball in their last meeting with Arsenal, and similar to the corner prediction, Guardiola will look for his side to build on their early goal and therefore see an awful lot of possession. Arsenal will sit deep and play with a low block, looking to counter against their opponents where possible.

I looked silly going against Arsenal last week, and again I could shoot myself in the foot with this one-sided prediction, but I am opting with the champions elect for a reason, a team who have won 12 Premier League games on the bounce. They will see over 60 per cent of the ball in my opinion, but what will you predict?

Just one match, and six questions, stands in your way of landing the £5,000 jackpot. Do not miss your free chance to play and enter your predictions before the 4.30pm deadline on Sunday!


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