We look ahead to this clash between last season’s top two Premier League sides with our Arsenal vs Manchester City prediction and preview.
Arsenal vs Manchester City: The Quick Hits
- Manchester City are predicted to pick up a record-equalling 13th consecutive Premier League victory over Arsenal by the Opta supercomputer.
- Mikel Arteta has beaten 23 of the 24 different teams he’s faced in the Premier League, but he’s not even picked up a point in seven previous attempts versus Man City.
- After losing against Wolves on MD 7, Man City are looking to avoid consecutive Premier League defeats for the first time since December 2018.
Manchester City will look to stretch their Premier League winning run against Arsenal to a record-equalling 13 games in a row on Sunday, as Pep Guardiola’s side travel to the Emirates Stadium in north London for this top-of-the-table clash before the international break.
Both Arsenal and Manchester City look set to be missing key players for this clash on Sunday. Bukayo Saka’s run of appearing in 87 consecutive Premier League games for Arsenal could come to an end after he was taken off injured in the midweek UEFA Champions League loss at Lens – that run is the longest current streak of all Premier League players and the longest streak ever in Arsenal’s club history in the competition. He would join an absence list for the Gunners alongside Gabriel Martinelli and Jurrien Timber.
David Raya looks set to be in goal ahead of Aaron Ramsdale, having started five of their last six competitive games, while Thomas Partey could come back into the side alongside Declan Rice in midfield following an injury that’s kept him out since the 2-2 draw with Fulham in August.
Reigning Premier League title holders Manchester City will be missing influential midfielders Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri. The Belgian star has been missing since coming off in the opening day win over Burnley and looks set to be out until at least Christmas. Rodri was sent off for violent conduct in Man City’s recent win over Nottingham Forest at the Etihad Stadium, therefore given a three-match ban. Since Rodri made his Premier League debut in August 2019, Man City have lost five of 15 matches without the Spaniard in the competition (W9 D1); by contrast, they have lost just five of their last 67 league games when Rodri has featured (W53 D9).
Of the current City team, De Bruyne has scored the most Premier League goals against Arsenal (eight), while Rodri is one of the other three players to have scored more than once versus the Gunners in the competition alongside Erling Haaland (two) and Bernardo Silva (two).
Ahead of the team news being announced, it looks very likely that City will still have Haaland at their disposal on Sunday, though. The striker was involved in four of Man City’s seven league goals against Arsenal last season and he has a decent record in London, overall. He’s scored in each of his last four Premier League appearances in the English capital – the only player to score in five in a row in the capital (for a team outside of London) is Ruud van Nistelrooy, who did so between September 2002 and September 2003.
Arsenal vs Manchester City Head-to-Head
Arsenal have suffered a torrid record against Man City in the Premier League recently. They have lost 12 games in a row – and if they lose this game as well, it’ll equal a competition record for most consecutive defeats by one team versus another. The current record is held by both Wigan Athletic versus Manchester United and West Brom versus Manchester City (both 13 in a row). This is already Arsenal’s longest losing run against a single opponent in their league history.
Former assistant to Pep Guardiola at Man City, Mikel Arteta, has beaten 23 of the 24 teams he’s faced as a manager in the Premier League. His only failure to pick up a win is against City, losing all seven previous meetings in the competition. Indeed, the Spaniard averages a minimum of at least one point-per-game against all other 23 clubs he has faced in the division.
Arsenal haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last 16 Premier League games against Manchester City, since a 2-0 away win in January 2015. It’s their longest run without a league shutout against an opponent since a run of 30 against Manchester United between 1953 and 1968.
The 2023-24 season may bring positive change for Arsenal, however. They have already enjoyed an FA Community Shield win over Man City this season, beating them on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Wembley Stadium. Of course, despite winning on penalties, that game will go down as a draw in the record books, meaning that Arsenal’s last competitive win over Man City was the 2019-20 FA Cup semi-final, when two goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sealed a 2-0 victory.
Manchester City lost 2-1 at Wolves last weekend in the Premier League, meaning there is a chance they could lose consecutive league matches for the first time in almost five years, last doing so in December 2018 versus Crystal Palace and Leicester City. That defeat came after an EFL Cup loss to Newcastle United three days prior, but they ended their mini two-game losing streak in all competitions with a 3-1 away win in the UCL at RB Leipzig on Wednesday night, thanks to goals from Phil Foden, Julián Álvarez and Jérémy Doku.
Ederson will be hoping to keep out the Arsenal attack in this match, having kept just one clean sheet in his last seven competitive appearances for City. That being said, both Arsenal and Man City are among the strongest defensively this season across all competitions – only Chelsea (0.78) and Newcastle (0.80) have conceded fewer goals per game than Arsenal (0.82) and City (0.83) in all competitions in 2023-24.
Despite seeing Gabriel Jesus open the scoring, Arsenal lost in midweek, suffering a 2-1 defeat in France against Lens in the Champions League. They last suffered back-to-back defeats in all competitions back in May, when losing to Brighton at the Emirates Stadium (3-0) and then at Nottingham Forest (1-0) a week later. That 2-1 loss at the Ligue 1 club ended a run of 11 games unbeaten across all competitions for Arteta’s side (W8 D3).
Alongside rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal are one of only two sides still unbeaten in the Premier League this season. This is their longest unbeaten start to a Premier League season since 2007-08, when they went 15 matches without defeat. Their seven games in 2023-24 so far have seen them defeat Forest, Crystal Palace, Manchester United, Everton and Bournemouth, while drawing 2-2 with both Spurs and Fulham at home. That 4-0 win over Bournemouth last weekend saw four different Gunners players score, with Saka, Martin Ødegaard, Kai Havertz and Ben White all finding the net.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off on Sunday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Arsenal vs Manchester City Prediction
Manchester City may be nervous on their travels to London for Sunday’s game following their shock 2-1 loss at Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend, but the Opta supercomputer is here to soothe their fears. The pre-match prediction from the supercomputer sees Man City as the favourites, having won 46.5% of the 10,000 simulations ahead of the weekend.
Arsenal may be the home side, but the Opta supercomputer’s simulations saw them end as victors on just 26.1% of occasions, with the draw occurring 27.4% of the time. Even with home advantage, a point against their title rivals wouldn’t be a terrible result for Mikel Arteta’s side – the home win/draw double chance standing at 53.5%.
Before a ball is kicked in the Premier League this weekend, Manchester City are still the overwhelming favourites to win a record fourth English top-flight title in a row. Across the Opta supercomputer’s 10,000 simulations before this weekend’s Matchday 8 action, Man City won the Premier League on 86.0% of occasions, followed by Liverpool (9.6%) and Arsenal (3.4%), with Tottenham (0.5%) and Newcastle (0.3%) the outsiders.
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