Yet again Arsenal have their final make-or-break game of the season, and there is no doubt in my mind that a defeat, or maybe even a draw, will put the final nail in our chances of reaching our Top Four Trophy this year. The Gunners are on their worst run of results since Arsene Wenger’s arrival a century ago and this will be the biggest test to see if Wenger can still motivate his players to do his famous ‘bounce back’ routine.
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I am of the opinion that Arsenal really can win this, as Pep Guardiola’s side have not quite clicked totally yet, and with the exit from the Champions League to Monaco, the Citizens have only won 1 of their last 4 games and have lost away to both Liverpool and Everton since Xmas. But their current form is nowhere near as bad as Arsenal’s so it is little surprise that they are installed as hot favourites to win at prices as low as 11/8 or 5/4.
Arsenal though are at a massive 2/1 or better, and I bet there have not been more than a handful of games in the last 20 years that have seen us at such a high price for a home game, and I think that could prove to be a great bet, and this is why.
The international break for once could have worked in our favour. All the players needed a break from the stress of their bad form and the media obsession with Wenger’s contract, and the messages of support from our travelling players mean they will now have to come back and prove their support on the pitch as well.
On the injury front Arsenal have hardly any big players out except Petr Cech (and Cazorla long-term of course as usual), while City have Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Sagna and Zabaleta all doubts, while Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus are out for the long term.
I am also a great believer in bogey teams (as Arsenal fans know better than most!) and the fact that City have only beaten Arsenal away once in 45 years gives me great hope that City have a mental block when visiting us, and they also have the added pressure of trying to keep pace with the top 3 and keeping Man United at bay. I think it will be a nervy game on both sides, but if the home fans get behind the team I am confident we can get the three points and start rebuilding some confidence…
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