Arsenal vs. Manchester City Odds, Picks and Predictions: How to Bet Saturday’s FA Cup Semifinal
Visionhaus/Getty Images, Pictured: Gabriel Jesus
- Manchester City are big favorites to beat Arsenal in Saturday's FA Cup Semifinal on ESPN+.
- Pep Guardiola's team have dominated the Gunners recently and Anthony Dabbundo thinks that trend will continue at Wembley.
FA Cup Odds: Arsenal vs. Manchester City
|Arsenal odds||+800 [BET NOW]|
|Manchester City odds||-315 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+440 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||3.5 (+112/-141) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday 2:45 p.m. ET|
Arsenal and Manchester City travel to London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday for the first of two FA Cup semifinals. The Gunners and Cityzens meet for the third time this season and Arsenal are still looking for their first goal in the matchup.
When the sides met at Arsenal in December, City posted three goals in the first half and cruised to a 3-0 win. The teams faced off again in Manchester to restart the Premier League season in June, and again, City won 3-0 after Arsenal center back David Luiz was sent off.
The matchup has largely been one-way traffic since Pep Guardiola took over in Manchester. City have won each of their last seven matches by multiple goals, scored at least three times in six of the seven games and held Arsenal scoreless in five. The collective aggregate score of those seven meetings is City 20, Arsenal 2.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
Arsenal have been in good form of late though, winners of five of their last seven in all competitions including a critical 2-1 upset win against Liverpool in the league on Wednesday.
The Gunners’ defense had been much improved since switching to a back three, but they’ve also benefited from a fortunate run of poor finishing from opponents, according to expected goals models.
Arsenal lost the xG battle to both Tottenham and Liverpool, and were the beneficiaries of two Liverpool defensive errors that led to goals.
The Gunners back three was effective in neutralizing the attacks of Norwich, Southampton, Wolves and even Sheffield in the FA Cup, but the last two matches against better attacking units, cracks have started to appear.
Arsenal conceded 1.8 xG to Spurs and 2.6 xG to Liverpool, their second- and third-highest allowed since the restart. The only match where Arsenal allowed more scoring chances was the 3.6 xG Manchester City created on June 17.
Arsenal’s defensive numbers appear to have improved but they still have struggled immensely against teams who apply ball pressure to their back three, which Manchester City is sure to do.
The Cityzens, save for a performance blip against Bournemouth in the midweek with half the squad rotated, have been in dominant form. In the six matches since the restart prior to Wednesday in the Premier League, City averaged 2.95 xGF per game, the highest in the PL.
Gabriel Jesus has become an xG monster and he now leads the league in non-penalty expected goals for this season despite sharing minutes with Sergio Aguero. His finishing has been poor, but if he continues to get into good spaces to score, the goals will start piling up.
Both Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez are first and second this season in expected assists, and De Bruyne is first in xA since the restart as well.
Don’t be fooled by Arsenal’s recent run of good results, focus on the performances. And the performances suggest that Arsenal is a mid-table team, while City is the best in the Premier League.
I’ll back the Cityzens to reach the final and win by multiple goals. Much has been made of City’s defensive issues all season long, but with Aymeric Laporte in the side, they are much sturdier defensively, which is why they’ve kept clean sheets in six of their nine matches since the restart.
Arsenal are only averaging 1.2 xG/90 since the restart, so I’ll back City to keep a clean sheet as well at positive odds.