Manchester City will be looking to get back to winning ways when theyhost Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday. The Sky Blues suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Newcastle United on Tuesday before slipping a point further behind leaders Liverpool a day later when the Reds drew 1-1 with Leicester City.
City are now five points back on Liverpool, but they can put some pressure on their rivals, who play on Monday night.
As for the Gunners, they sit in the top four ahead of Chelsea. The Gunners are level on points and goal difference with the Blues, but they have scored 50 goals to the Blues’ 40.
City played their 100th Premier League game under manager Pep Guardiola on Tuesday, and the Spaniard has a remarkable record with the Sky Blues:
His milestone match did not go to plan, though, despite his side taking the lead just 24 seconds in.
Following City’s three defeats in December, it’s clear they are falling short of the exceptional standards they set last season. They are nine points worse off than they were after 24 games in 2017/18.
While some drop-off was almost inevitable given the heights they reached, their title challenge is in danger, and they need to respond with a run of consecutive wins.
What bodes well for them on Sunday is Arsenal’s struggles on the road against the Premier League’s biggest sides:
The Gunners come into the match on the back of a routine, if uninspiring, 2-1 win over Cardiff City.
Arsenal blogger Tim Stillman noted one of the biggest issues in the Gunners’ attacking play:
Fortunately, the quality of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette can paper over a number of cracks. The pair have contributed a combined total of 29 goals in all competitions this season.
City have only shipped 19 goals in 24 league games, but the Arsenal duo are more than capable of breaching the champions’ defence.
They will need to be clinical on Sunday if they are to hand the Gunners a much-needed away win over their top-six rivals.