EPL resumes today as Man City hosts Arsenal – Match Preview.
Aymeric Laporte may return after missing City’s past three games with a hamstring issue, while Leroy Sane could make his first senior appearance since injuring his knee last August.
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta says he has no injury doubts. This game comes too soon for long-term absentees Lucas Torreira and Calum Chambers, who are regaining fitness. Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says his players are not yet fully fit but has not reported any injury problems.
City’s last game was a derby defeat at Old Trafford, when they did not really turn up. That performance is long gone now, though – I am sure most of their players cannot remember last week, let alone their last game.
Neither they nor Arsenal are going to have changed too much since we last saw them – you just know City will have trained loads with the ball and they will play good, attacking football.
I don’t think Arsenal will have found a steely resolve in midfield or defence, because they have just not got it. I would expect City to win because, regardless of the fact they are playing in an empty stadium, they have got better players than Arsenal.
City’s potential European ban is hanging over them a little bit – the decision on their appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport is due in July.
But even if their suspension is upheld, I cannot see Arsenal making fifth spot and qualifying for the Champions League that way.
Yes, they won three league games in a row before the season was stopped but they were playing teams you would expect them to beat – West Ham, Everton and Newcastle.
It was not a sign that anything had changed with the Gunners. It might feel like a new season, but they are the same old Arsenal.
- Manchester City have won their last six league and cup matches against Arsenal, their longest winning run versus the Gunners.
- Arsenal have lost the past five league meetings – it’s their longest such streak against a particular opponent since a seven-match sequence versus Ipswich between 1974 and 1977.
- The Gunners’ last win against City came in a FA Cup semi-final in 2017.
- This will be both sides’ second competitive match in the month of June. Manchester City beat Newport County 5-1 at home in a second tier game in 1947, while in the same year Arsenal lost 2-1 at Sheffield United in a top-flight encounter.
- Manchester City have failed to score in the first half of seven of their past nine top-flight matches. However, 12 of the last 16 league goals City have scored against Arsenal have come in the opening 45 minutes.
- City have lost seven Premier League games this season, one more than in their previous two campaigns combined.
- Sergio Aguero has scored 10 goals in his last 12 appearances against Arsenal in all competitions, including a hat-trick when City beat Arsenal 3-1 at home last season.
- Pep Guardiola has never lost a home match against Arsenal in his managerial career, winning six of seven games.
- Kevin de Bruyne has been directly involved in six goals in his past seven Premier League starts against Arsenal, scoring four and assisting two.
- Arsenal are unbeaten in the league this calendar year (W4, D4) – the only other side in the top four English divisions yet to lose in 2020 are Coventry City.
- The Gunners could draw six consecutive away league matches for the first time in their history.
- They have won just one of 11 top-flight fixtures this season against teams currently above them in the table (D5, L5).
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 49 goals in 75 Premier League appearances – if he scores in this game he will be the sixth fastest player to reach 50 in the competition.
- Alexandre Lacazette has failed to score in each of his last 13 Premier League away matches.