Tis the season to be jolly – unless you’re Pep Guardiola. The Manchester City gaffer has three La Liga crowns, three Bundesliga titles and a couple of Champions League trophies in his managerial trophy cabinet, but despite being armed with a squad full of talent he’s hit a serious rocky patch.
Since winning their first 10 games in all competitions at the start of the season and moving to odds of 4/7 for the title, Manchester City have spiralled out of control. Pep Fraudiola, as he’s been dubbed, has now led City to just four wins in their last 10 games and they’ve already lost 3-1 at home to Chelsea and 4-2 away to Leicester this month. As the Foxes moved into a 4-0 lead last weekend, it was the first time ever that Pep Guardiola had been four goals behind at any point in his managerial career. Now with just 33 points after 16 games Pep is officially having his worst ever season as the boss.
Christmas may be the season of giving but City can’t afford to keep handing Chelsea the initiative as they now sit seven points off Antonio Conte’s league leaders.
City’s win at home to Watford on Wednesday night was the first time since mid-September that the home fans at the Etihad Stadium had been able to celebrate three points in the league. The Citizens dropped points at home to Everton, Southampton, Middlesbrough and Chelsea as Pep’s side proved they were about as useful in Manchester as a bottle of factor 50 sun cream.
Merry Christmas my Arse-nal
Arsenal fans have the recent advantage over City, losing just two of the last 10 meetings in all competitions – including a 3-0 thumping of City in the 2014 Community Shield. It’s little more than three years to the day since Arsenal last lost to Man City, although that 6-3 hammering at the Etihad is probably hard to forget.
Despite Tuesday night’s defeat to Everton, Arsenal have been flying in the league winning 10 and drawing four of their 16 games. Their only defeats have come at the hands of Everton and Liverpool. Mr Wenger – We recommend buying a scouse trap! The Gunners look a tempting price at 11/5, while the 11/8 draw no bet gives you a little safety blanket should Arsene Wenger’s men battle out a point.
Olivier Giroud has only played a bit part for Arsenal this season, but he’s come off the bench to score away against Sunderland and Manchester United and he has four goals in his last five games against Man City. At 11/2 to score last the gorgeous Frenchman will be carrying a few of our quid, and if you’re looking for an optimistic punt a week before Christmas, Giroud to score in a 1-0 win for Arsenal at 45/1 has us giddier than Santa’s elves.