English Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Arsenal vs. Manchester City (Sunday, Feb. 21)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images. Pictured: Riyad Mahrez, Rodri and Raheem Sterling.
- Arsenal takes on the Premier League leader in between crucial Europa League fixtures, with the host side look to make a climb up the table.
- Manchester City has been unstoppable as of late, going unbeaten in 17 league matches and creeping closer to the title.
- Kieran Darcy explains why he's backing the Cityzens to continue their winning ways below.
Arsenal vs. Manchester City Odds
|Manchester City Odds||-200|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-134 /+108)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 11:30 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
Arsenal vs. Manchester City is the third of four Premier League fixtures on Sunday. It’s a meeting of two “Big Six” clubs, but a pretty big mismatch in terms of the table, among other things.
Here’s a closer look at the two clubs, followed by a prediction.
Arsenal entered the weekend in 10th place with 34 points, eight points behind fourth-place Chelsea.
The Gunners are coming off a 4-2 win over Leeds last Sunday, but let’s not forget that Leeds have conceded 43 league goals this season — only West Brom have conceded more (55). Prior to that match, Arsenal had scored just once in their previous three league games combined, which were a scoreless draw with Manchester United, a 2-1 loss at Wolves and a 1-0 loss at Aston Villa.
Arsenal also played a Europa League match on Thursday to a 1-1 draw with Benfica at a neutral venue, in Rome. Manager Mikel Arteta fielded a full-strength starting lineup for that one, with Bukayo Saka scoring the goal.
Arsenal’s position in the league table is just about right, according to the underlying stats. In terms of xG (expected goal) difference, they are ninth at +4.9. according to FBref.com.
Manchester City have now won 17 matches in a row across all competitions, extending their record for English top-flight clubs. They were also in action midweek, winning 3-1 at Everton — a match in which they outshot their opponents, 16-3, and got goals from Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva. And Kevin De Bruyne made his return from injury off the bench, another plus.
Man City entered the weekend 10 points clear of Manchester United at the top of the table. The last time City dropped points was back on Dec. 15, when they drew 1-1 with West Brom. The last time they lost a match: way back on Nov. 21, a 2-0 defeat at Tottenham.
So much for it being a wide-open title race in England, as many of us expected earlier this season. The underlying numbers tell a similar story in terms of Man City being way ahead of the chasing pack. Their xG difference is currently +28.9. Chelsea and Liverpool were their closest competitors entering the weekend, but at a relatively distant +15.7 and +14.6.
Betting Analysis & Picks
When these two clubs met at the Etihad on Oct. 17, it finished 1-0 in Manchester City’s favor, with Raheem Sterling scoring the goal.
I’m expecting a similar result this time around, but it’ll probably be more lopsided. In their past nine league matches, Man City have conceded just two goals — a Mohamed Salah penalty against Liverpool, and Richarlison’s goal on Wednesday, which was essentially a lucky bounce off his leg. And Man City allowed just 2.3 xG in the other seven matches combined!
So I think Arsenal’s chances of scoring are pretty slim, especially given the relatively quick turnaround from their trip to Rome. The Europa League is arguably Arsenal’s bigger priority right now, as it probably offers their best chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season.
As for Man City, they have outscored their opponents 25-2 in those past nine matches. Gimme Pep Guardiola’s juggernauts to win by two goals or more.
Pick: Manchester City -1.5 (+148)