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Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Arsenal woes could worsen with another damaging defeat

City fancied to win Emirates shootout

Arsenal were dejected after losing at West Brom last time out
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Premier League
Sky Sports 1, 4pm Sunday

The growing Arsene Wenger out brigade may not get their wish for a new Arsenal manager but they could be left with another reason to be frustrated with the Frenchman when Manchester City head to the Emirates for a high-stakes Premier League clash.

At least two of England's giants will miss out on Champions League football via a top-four finish this season and unless something changes quickly Arsenal will be one of them.

The gap between the north London side and City is seven points with Arsenal holding a game in hand advantage but the gap could widen in a fixture that usually promises goals.

Arsenal's performance in the 3-1 loss at West Brom before the international break was shocking and excluding the FA Cup strolls over non-league Sutton and Lincoln, Wenger's men have lost six of their last seven matches.

It has been a hard run of fixtures with the Bayern Munich double-header in the Champions League as well as trips to Chelsea and Liverpool, but they also lost to West Brom and Watford and the win came against lowly Hull.

The confidence of the players and the lack of enthusiasm from the crowd is a vicious circle that has left Arsenal in a relatively awful off-field position where the club seem not to want to announce a new contract for Wenger until results improve.

Only Middlesbrough have stopped Arsenal from scoring at the Emirates in this season's Premier League and the Gunners will always be a threat with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in the side, but 16 goals have been conceded in eight games against the top seven.

That certainly does not bode well for a clash with a slick City side who possess arguably the best attacking unit in the Premier League with Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane behind Sergio Aguero.

Argentinian hotshot Aguero has seven goals in his last seven City appearances, although he was not available for the reverse fixture when wide boys Sterling and Sane did the damage in a 2-1 success.

City were dominant on that occasion - Arsenal had 39 per cent possession, forced one corner and scored with their only shot on target through Theo Walcott - and if anything the Gunners are now in worse shape.

Wenger received support from opposite number Pep Guardiola this week but from a tactical view the visiting boss is fancied to come out on top.

However, City have not yet managed a clean sheet in nine games against the other members of the top seven so it may need more than one goal to hit Wenger with another damaging defeat.

Man City to win and both teams to score
1pt 3-1 Paddy Power

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Team news
Petr Cech, Lucas Perez and Santi Cazorla are ruled out, but Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are available.

Man City
Kevin De Bruyne and Pablo Zabaleta have been declared fit but Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan remain crocked.

Key stat
A whopping 27 goals have been scored in the last seven Premier League meetings between Arsenal and City.

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City possess arguably the best attack in the Premier League with Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane behind Sergio Aguero
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