Soccer tips: Arsenal vs Manchester City - Gung-ho Gunners will go toe-to-toe with league leaders

Mikel Arteta is set to miss the clash with COVID-19, but that won't unsettle his in-form Arsenal side as they face a visit from Manchester City.

The two teams leading the Premier League form table meet on Saturday afternoon, with Manchester City wanting to extend their gap at the top of the table, while Arsenal can tighten their grip on a top four spot.

Both sides enter the clash on the back of four consecutive wins, with Arsenal's latest coming in the shape of a 5-0 demolition job over Norwich, while City edged Brentford in a closely-contested match.

After serving as his assistant manager for three years, Mikel Arteta would've been looking forward to reuniting with former boss Pep Guardiola, but a positive COVID-19 test this week means the Arsenal boss will be stuck at home.

Planet Boost - Arsenal vs Man City, Saturday, January 1

When, where and how to follow

When: Saturday, January 1, 12:30pm GMT

Where: The Emirates Stadium, London

Follow in-play updates and odds via our live match centre

Best bets for Arsenal vs Manchester City

Over 4.5 goals - 4/1

Both teams to score - 4/6

Phil Foden to score anytime - 13/10

With both teams entering Saturday's clash free-firing and with soaring confidence, we could be in for a high-scoring encounter.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's axing as captain suggested it would be bad news for Arsenal's chances of finding the net, but it's had the opposite effect, with the Gunners going on to score 16 in the following four games.

Alexandre Lacazette has assumed captaincy in Aubameyang's absence, and has managed a goal and two assists.

Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal

It's also brought the best out of Martin OdegaardEmile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli, who have all been among the goals in recent weeks.

As for Manchester City, they've also enjoyed their fair share of goals this season, scoring 18 in the last four games - including seven in their thrashing of Leeds United.

They found it more difficult against Brentford last time out, but with Arsenal likely to play an expansive style similar to their own, chances won't be hard to come by.

To add to the likelihood of goals, Arsenal will be without Takehiro Tomiyasu after the Japanese defender tested positive for COVID-19. Joao Cancelo was a doubt for City after he was assaulted during a burglary at his home this week, but has travelled with the squad and could be available.

There's plenty of factors to consider - all of which point towards goals aplenty. Therefore my headline tip is over 4.5 total goals, which has been boosted by Planet Sport Bet to an enticing 4/1.

It's a bet that has landed in two of their last three meetings, with Pep Guardiola's side cruising to a 5-0 win in August, while they also sealed a 4-1 win against the Gunners in the League Cup back in December 2020.

Last 10 head-to-heads

Arsenal wins: 1

Draws: 0

Man City wins: 9

Arsenal goals: 4

Man City goals: 25

Turning the tide

Mikel Arteta applauds Arsenal fans

At the start of the season, Arsenal lost three on the bounce - including a 5-0 loss to Manchester City - and pressure was quickly mounting on Mikel Arteta's job.

However, the Spaniard has done superbly to turn it around and climb up to fourth in the table. Much of their success this season has been through winning the games where they're favourites, now the next step is to compete as underdogs.

They've not fared well against the supposed 'big six' this season, losing all their clashes bar the 3-1 victory over Tottenham.

And, while the Gunners have improved defensively this season, they've yet to show the same resilience against elite opposition, and tend to adopt a more gung-ho style.

Their five games against fellow big six opposition have seen 20 goals scored, an average of four per game. Most of them have been goals conceded, but now they've found some shooting boots of their own, we can only expect the net to ripple more.

Therefore, turning towards the both teams to score market seems sensible. Manchester City have only failed to score in three Premier League games this season, and Arsenal's good form will spur them on to score at home on Saturday.

Both teams to score is valued at 4/6, and having landed in four of Arsenal's last seven fixtures, as well as in six of City's last 10, it's more than worthy of our attention.

Corner market holds value

Man City to install rail seats at Etihad that could become safe sta

Another market of interest lies with corners, where over 11.5 can land at 6/4.

While that initially sounds like a lot, a quick glance at both teams' record shows why it's probable. City lead the table in terms of corners won this season, with their 173 a staggering 20 above Liverpool in second.

Arsenal sit seventh with 95, meaning they average five per game, and City average 8.65. With a combined average of 13.65 corners per game, suddenly over 11.5 in what is bound to be an open game looks likely.

If not already convinced, then in the sides' previous meetings, over 11.5 corners has landed in three of their last six matches.

Goalscorer bets for Arsenal vs Manchester City

Phil Foden Kevin de Bruyne Man City Dec21

As for who will find the net, Phil Foden gets the nod to score anytime at 13/10. City's 21-year-old midfielder has managed five already this season, including the winner against Brentford on Wednesday.

He boasts a fairly impressive record against the Gunners, scoring and assisting twice in six appearances.

As for Arsenal, Bukayo Saka to score anytime at 21/4 is eye-catching. He has also netted five times this season, and with Cancelo potentially out of contention, he could enjoy some success down the flanks.

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