Arsenal v Man City: 3 Things to Watch For


Arsenal face third place Manchester City as they try to keep pace with Leicester City, who pulled five points ahead. Here are three things to watch for.

Venue: Emirates Stadium

Date: Monday, Dec 22 (EST)

It is safe to say that in a season where there is no team that is clearly superior to the rest of the Premier League, every game is important. However, despite Leicester City’s amazing form this season, we pay most attention to the fixtures that involve the big four/ five.

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This weekend will see Manchester City travel to London to take on Arsenal, in a battle for second place, if not first. Crazy that this game will determine so much and actually mean more than just the result. Consider this: Man City had a couple of bad games which lead to them surrendering first place, but have since found their feet again and are starting to score goals.

Similarly, Arsenal had a rough patch after taking the lead in the Premier League from City but have since found their feet as well. Furthermore, the winner of this game will not only take over second place, but also gain momentum as we head into the craziest part of the season, Christmas time. Positive momentum will mean so much as teams start to play a game every three days. We know all to well that the upcoming stretch is usually where you separate the real contenders from those pretending to be contenders.

Prediction: Arsenal 1-1 Man City

1) No Clean Sheet for Cech

First of all, Yes I’m back to predicting Arsenal draws and losses only. Secondly, Aston Villa are definitely not the same as Man City. Finally, there is no way Arsenal keep City out of our goal.

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Cech has been amazing, and I think that is putting it lightly. When Chelsea players said that Cech would account for a few games just because of his abilities, I thought that was an exaggeration. It was not and the statistics further support all of this. According to, in 16 league appearances, Cech has kept seven clean sheets while making an average of 2.44 saves per game. His stat line of 3.9 saves between goals means he averages less than a goal a game. That being said, I don’t think he will give up more than a goal against City. However, City’s attack is one of the best in the league with or without Aguero. Which means I see Arsenal’s defense struggling to cope with a multi-headed attack especially without Coquelin in the middle.

2) Ozil Under the Bright Lights

Actually, I don’t know why this is even something we should concern ourselves with considering the fact that Ozil is a world cup winner and a proven, all-around winner. However, I feel like this is an important thing to look out for because another great game from Ozil and people like David Moyes will have to admit they were wrong.

According to Ozil has had 13 assist on 65 chances created, in 15 League games. First of all, 65 chances created, by comparison, City’s leading assist men David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne have created 19 and 37 chances respectively, resulting in six assist each. To sum up, the two best creators in City (based on stats) have a combined 12 assist on 56 chances created.

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So maybe people who believe Ozil still has to prove he is the real deal are just brain dead, or maybe it is because Ozil has never consistently shown he is the real deal when it matters most. Ozil might be tired but people like Moyes will certainly not make an excuse for him. The only way to prove him wrong is to consistently perform at a high level, regardless of the occasion.

3) Ramsey Continues to Show he Belongs

Over the past few weeks Ramsey has shown all of us that he belongs in the middle of the pitch for Arsenal.  Ramsey’s resurgence since his injury has shown all of us that he should never be placed on the wing. When playing in the middle, Ramsey can make tackles higher up on the pitch and help the tram quickly transition to attack. This has been very different when compared to games where he plays further out near the wing. When playing on the wing, Ramsey can’t over commit to tackles high up on the pitch as it leaves the wing back behind him exposed. Furthermore, because is it less congested with opponents and teammates on the wing, Ramsey tends to dribble more rather than make long runs in supporting the attack.

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Look for Ramsey to continue his amazing plays, and look for him to cause serious problems for Man City with those long darting runs from deeper positions.