Despite the fact that they’ve been known as the FA Cup specialists in recent years, with four semi-final appearances and three outright competition wins in the last decade, Arsenal will have wanted to desperately avoid Man City in the 2019/20 semi draw. They’re the one team that Mikel Arteta’s side have been unable to beat in recent seasons and ahead of this evening’s cup encounter with Pep Guardiola’s men, they have little chance of progressing if the recent head-to-heads are anything to go by.
Remarkably, the last seven times the sides have met, in all competitions and both home and away, Man City have come out on top. And on most occasions, with considerable ease too. That makes this tie very hard from an Arsenal perspective and they’re also taking on a Man City side who are in a rich vein of form.
They head into this clash with three consecutive wins under their belt, scoring 11 goals in the process, and in their most recent victory over the Gunners, they outscored their opposition in terms of shots on target on a scoreline of 12-0. Throw in the fact that they’ve scored two or more goals in eight of their last ten games and the way to go is Man City on the handicap.
In City’s last seven wins over Arsenal, they’ve won by two or more goals on every single occasion and that might again be on the cards here. Backing City (-1) on the handicap appeals for plenty of reasons.
Another thing that Man City have a habit of doing is putting their opposition to the sword early in their games. They’re known to many as being the HT-FT specialists and its impossible to argue with that based on the statistics.
In 27 of their 38 wins in all competitions this season, they’ve led at the break. That comes in at a strike rate of over 71% strike rate, which is extraordinary. Not only that but more crucially, they’ve been in front at the break in all of their last seven games, which they’ve won, against the Gunners.
That includes both Premier League games this season. That would suggest that there’s every chance of City making it eight-on-the-trot on the HT-FT front at Wembley later.
When it comes to scoring against Arsenal, there’s two men who are ahead of everybody else in the City squad. Both Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have been scoring freely against Mikel Arteta’s men and in both league encounters this season, both men have been on target.
Given the quality of both players, and their record in this fixture, it’s extremely hard to make a case for one over the other. Saying that, the value might just lie with De Bruyne, who’s nearly twice the price of his team mate to find the net.
It’s always a bonus to be on penalty-taking duty these days and in City’s three crucial games since the resumption against Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle (in the FA Cup), the Belgian has found the net every single time.
And having scored three times against Arsenal already this season, De Bruyne will be gunning for more goals.
Tips for Arsenal v Man City at 19:45
- Football Tips: 5 punts for Chelsea v Man Utd in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final
- Man City Ban Exclusive: Uefa’s Secret Plot To Punish Club Anyway
- Brendan Rodgers Prepares 25 Envelopes Ahead Of Leicester V Sheff Utd Clash