The pressure is already on faltering Manchester City ahead of their visit to Arsenal but the fact that they could realistically be eight points behind Manchester United by the time a ball is kicked at the Emirates Stadium today, turns up the heat on Roberto Mancini’s men significantly.
Heading to North London having won just one of their last four in the league, City are BetVictor’s 15/8 outsiders to get the better of a Gunners side, Boylesports’ 6/4 favourites, still seeking to secure a Champions League place. Coral meanwhile, post 5/2 against a stalemate and as the visitors have drawn their last two, that is set to be well supported.
The fact that Arsenal’s brilliant run came to an end at QPR last weekend lends further appeal to an inconclusive contest so Stan James’ 6/1 posted against a 1-1 scoreline is certainly worth considering and Blue Square’s 9/2 for both halves to end all square is an enticing alternative.
It’s easy to anticipate a high-scoring affair, especially in light of the plethora of tremendous attacking players likely to be in action, but in recent years this fixture hasn’t produced many goals; in fact in only one of City’s last eight visits to Arsenal have the two teams come up with more than two between them and a flutter on a tally of fewer than three, at evens (bet365), therefore makes sense statistically speaking.
Robin Van Persie meanwhile, has been in tremendous form this term and has struck in six of the Gunners’ last seven home matches in all competitions. The Dutch master has to be fancied then at 4/1 in Paddy Power’s first scorer betting and Coral quote the Arsenal front man at 6/5 to notch at any stage.
Looking to tighten their grip on the title Manchester United are just 1/6 via William Hill to extend their lead at the summit, temporarily at least, by seeing off struggling QPR in the earlier kick-off and Sir Alex Ferguson’s side represent decent value at 10/11 (Skybet) to prevail ‘to nil’ for the fifth league match in succession.