Attacks to dominate defences at the Etihad

Manchester City and Arsenal drew 2-2 at the Etihad last season.

There are quite a few superb fixtures in the English Premier League this weekend, none better than Sunday’s match between championship contenders Manchester City and Arsenal.

Manchester City has managed to keep a clean sheet in just three of its 16 English Premier League matches and its defence’s blanks were earned against the might of West Bromwich, Bournemouth and Watford – hardly three of the division’s powerhouses. Manchester City, however, has made the onion bag rustle in 15 of its 16 English Premier League games, failing to score only versus Tottenham on the road.

Arsenal’s lengthy English Premier League unbeaten run ended when it lost 1-2 at Everton in midweek but the Gunners did  score for the 14th time in their 16 divisional matches. Like Manchester City, Arsenal’s defence must improve if it is going contend for the English Premier League trophy because the Gunners have allowed 12 of their 16 opponents to score, monstering only the attacks of Chelsea, Burnley, Leicester and Middlesbrough – just the Blues are strong performers.

A home win is imperative for Manchester City if it is going to challenge for the English Premier League title and, with Arsenal trailing Chelsea by six points after 16 rounds, the Gunners need to prevail almost as much as the Citizens. One is expecting an open, entertaining English Premier League game in which both teams find the back of the net, a wager that is available at odds of -169 .

Both of last term’s English Premier League games between Manchester City and Arsenal were entertaining affairs – Arsenal won 2-1 at its Emirates Stadium and the sides drew 2-2 at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium – and the Gunners edged a five-goal pre-season thriller in August.

Hull is sinking like a stone in the English Premier League and its away form is such that one cannot bet on anything other than a Tigers loss when they visit West Ham.

Swansea and Burnley are the only English Premier League teams to have dropped home points versus Hull and the Tigers have copped a four road hammerings, including 0-3 pelting at bottom-of-the-ladder Sunderland. Hull’s defence is the worst in the English Premier League having leaked 35 goals in the first 16 rounds and, on Saturday, the Tigers will encounter a West Ham side that has had its flagging confidence boosted by a couple of decent results – a 2-2 draw at Liverpool followed by a much needed 1-0 home win over Burnley.

BoyleSports and William Hill are listing odds of -149  about West Ham getting the better of Hull at the London Stadium. If West Ham hits the front – and Hull’s defence is so weak that the Irons will have every chance to open the scoring – Slaven Bilic’s team may grow an extra leg and race away.

According to one’s English Premier League collateral form analysis, West Ham and Hull have had 14 common opponents and the Irons hold an 8-2-4 advantage over the Tigers.

One highlighted the value in supporting Stoke at home to Southampton in midweek but the early dismissal of Marco Arnautovic put the Potters on the back foot. Even so, Stoke’s 10 men held on to draw 0-0 against Southampton.

Leicester is Stoke’s Saturday guest in English Premier League action and one remains unconvinced that the Foxes warrant the respect afforded to champions, particularly on their travels. Leicester’s English Premier League away data reads 0-1-7 and the Foxes have not kept a road clean sheet.

Stoke and Leicester have faced 14 identical English Premier League foes and, according to one’s collateral form analysis, the Potters edge the Foxes by 7-1-6 so the hosts are attractively priced at odds of +162  with Marathonbet.

Tips Summary

Man City v Arsenal – Both Teams to Score
Sunday 18th December, 16:00 GMT
Odds:  -169

West Ham to beat Hull
Saturday 17th December, 15:00 GMT
Odds:  -149

Stoke to beat Leicester
Saturday 17th December, 15:00 GMT
Odds:  +162

Arsenal
manchester city
Premier League
Stoke
West Ham

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