The match that could decide the Premier League title. The biggest game of 2022-23 so far is upon us and we preview the clash with the key Opta stats including our Manchester City vs Arsenal prediction.
Manchester City vs Arsenal: Quick Stats
- Manchester City are the Opta supercomputer favourites to win this game with a 62% chance of victory.
- Arsenal have lost a record-breaking 11 Premier League games against Manchester City in a row.
- If Arsenal win this game, the Opta supercomputer says that they will be favourites for the Premier League title again.
This is the biggest game of the 2022-23 Premier League season – there’s no doubt about that. The match could end up deciding the Premier League title winners, with both Arsenal and Manchester City by far and away the most consistently strong sides in England across this campaign.
With that in mind, Arsenal’s terrible recent record versus Manchester City certainly damages their hopes of winning their first league title since 2003-04 under Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal have lost their last 11 Premier League matches against Man City – their longest losing streak against a single opponent in their entire league history.
In their six Premier League trips to the Etihad Stadium during Pep Guardiola’s reign as Man City manager, Arsenal have lost every time, with the aggregate score over these games at 17-3. In fact, Arsenal haven’t won away at Man City since January 2015 (2-0).
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was previously assistant to Guardiola at Man City. He’s lost all six of his Premier League games against Man City as Arsenal manager – they’re the only side the Spaniard has faced but failed to beat as a manager in the competition.
Arsenal really need to win this match, with City currently only five points behind them and with two games in hand. To do that, they need to score – something that’s been tough for them in recent years at the Etihad Stadium. They’ve netted just three goals in their last 10 Premier League games against Man City, failing to score on seven occasions.
Arsenal will be once again missing influential central defender William Saliba through injury, while he’s joined by Mohamed Elneny and Takehiro Tomiyasu on the treatment table. Midfielder Granit Xhaka is also a doubt after he missed Friday night’s 3-3 draw at home to Southampton with illness, but Mikel Arteta will hope he’s fit for kick-off. Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, who both won the Premier League title with Man City in 2020-21 and 2021-22, are both fit to face their former club. Manchester City only have one definite absentee in the pre-match team news, with Dutchman Nathan Ake missing out here with a hamstring injury which he picked up against Bayern Munich.
Arsenal 1-3 Manchester City: 15 February 2023 (Premier League)
Manchester City picked up a vital 3-1 win against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in their rearranged Premier League clash back in February.
On the day of this game, City were three points behind Arsenal in the standings but had played a game more than their rivals – this win took them level on points with the Gunners and ahead of them on goal difference in the Premier League table.
Individual errors were Arsenal’s downfall. Takehiro Tomiyasu’s underhit backpass found Kevin de Bruyne who lofted the ball over Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale into the net to open the scoring after 24 minutes. Arsenal deservedly drew level just before before half-time, with Bukayo Saka scoring from the spot after City goalkeeper Ederson fouled Eddie Nketiah. However, Man City improved after half-time and took all three points following goals from Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland – Grealish’s goal coming from another error, this time seeing Gabriel lose possession in his own half to Bernardo Silva.
Haaland’s goal was his 26th in the Premier League this season, which equalled the record by a Man City player in a single EPL campaign, alongside Sergio Agüero in 2014-15.
This was Man City’s second competitive win of 2022-23 versus Arsenal, having previously knocked them out of the FA Cup in January. This fourth-round tie at the Etihad Stadium finished 1-0, with Ake scoring the only goal of the game past Gunners’ goalkeeper Matt Turner in the second half.
Manchester City have won eight of their last nine Premier League games, including their last six in a row. At home they’ve won 17 of their last 19 league games (D1 L1), though their last four defeats at the Etihad have been against London sides (Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Tottenham Hotspur and Brentford).
In all competitions, City are undefeated in 16 matches now. They have won 13 of these games, with 1-1 draws away against Nottingham Forest (Premier League) and at Bundesliga clubs RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich (UEFA Champions League) the only games they failed to win. Their last competitive defeat came against Tottenham Hotspur in London on 5 February (1-0).
Their last match saw them defeat Championship side Sheffield United 3-0 at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, with all three goals coming from Riyad Mahrez. It was the first ever FA Cup semi-final hat-trick at Wembley Stadium, and the first in the semi-finals of the competition overall since Alex Dawson in 1958 (for Man Utd vs. Fulham). This win has set up an FA Cup final against rivals Manchester United in June.
Arsenal’s recent form has been frustrating, with three consecutive score draws putting a real dent in their Premier League title aspirations. Their last two league games away from home saw them take two-goal leads before eventually drawing 2-2 at both Liverpool and West Ham United, before they drew 3-3 with bottom of the league side Southampton at the Emirates Stadium on Friday night – only saving a point with late goals from Martin Odegaard (88th minute) and Bukayo Saka (90th).
Despite this, Arsenal are currently on the longest unbeaten run of any side in the Premier League (10 games), one more than both Man City and Aston Villa. Their last competitive defeat came in that previous meeting with Man City at home in February.
Manchester City: Erling Haaland
The choice is obvious – Erling Haaland is Man City’s most likely match-winner.
Across all competitions in 2022-23, Haaland has scored 48 goals in 42 appearances – a record for a Premier League player across all comps in a single season. The striker has scored 38% of City’s 127 competitive goals in 2022-23, and his 48 goals are only one fewer than their next four highest scorers in 2022-23 combined (Riyad Mahrez’s 15, Julián Álvarez’s 14, Phil Foden’s 13 and Kevin De Bruyne’s seven).
Haaland has scored 32 Premier League goals for Man City this season, the joint-most ever by a player in a 38-game campaign in the competition. Twenty of these goals have come at the Etihad Stadium, the most home goals by a player in a season since 2007-08 when Man Utd’s Cristiano Ronaldo (Old Trafford) and Liverpool’s Fernando Torres (Anfield) each scored 21.
Arsenal: Gabriel Martinelli
Arsenal need to win this match and will need to find the firepower to do that. Their most likely source of goals in 2022-23 so far has been forward Gabriel Martinelli.
Martinelli has been involved in 11 goals in his last 10 Premier League games for Arsenal (eight goals, three assists). Overall, he has 15 Premier League goals this season, the joint-most by a Brazilian player in a single campaign, along with Roberto Firmino in 2017-18.
Not only is Martinelli a goal threat in this Arsenal side, but he’s their most creative player in open play, too. Both his overall xG assisted (7.71) and xG assisted per 90 (0.27) from open play this season are the best of any Arsenal player to have played at least 1,000 minutes.
Martinelli should start ahead of January signing from Brighton, Leandro Trossard, as part of a three-pronged attack alongside Saka and Jesus.
Manchester City vs Arsenal Prediction
Look away now, Arsenal fans. The Opta supercomputer is predicting a Manchester City win in this potential Premier League title decider, giving them a 62% chance of beating the Gunners. Arsenal’s chances of picking up all three points at the Etihad Stadium are rated at 15.3%, with the draw at 22.7%.
Arsenal really need a win in this game, based on the Opta supercomputer projections. If Mikel Arteta’s side were to pick up all three points, we project their chance of winning the 2022-23 Premier League title to be at 56% compared to Man City’s 44% – essentially putting it back in their hands.
If Man City win, it looks like the title race will be all but over, with the Opta supercomputer believing that a home victory on Wednesday night gives Pep Guardiola’s side a 91% chance of winning a third successive EPL title. A draw would also be favourable to City, with the Opta supercomputer rating their chances of winning the league at 72% should this game end level at the Etihad Stadium.