Manchester City Drops Out Of Champions League & Joins Premier To Face Arsenal

Nikki Adams

Friday, May 6, 2016 5:57 PM GMT

Manchester City and Arsenal collide in a pivotal clash this week with Top 4 implications. Find out where we’re lining up our soccer picks.

Manchester City drop out of Champions League
Manchester City’s bid for a first-ever Champions League final came to an abrupt end at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday, following a 1-0 defeat to the ten-time champions Real Madrid. Although the outcome was hardly surprising – it was always going to be a tough ask against Real – it must be a disappointing result nonetheless for Manuel Pellegrini’s side. One they might find hard to bounce back from in time for the pivotal date with Arsenal at the Etihad on Sunday.

So they must if they hope to secure direct qualification for Champions League next season. The top three clubs in Premier League receive direct entry while the fourth-placed club goes into the playoff pool.

Man City are currently sat fourth in the Premier League table behind a 19-7-10 mark and 64 points with two games left on the season. They are three points adrift of Arsenal in the table and four points ahead of Man United (a game in hand) in the race for a Top 4 finish.

The Citizens are coming off a woeful 4-2 loss to Southampton at St. Mary’s Park in their last outing. Granted Manuel Pellegrini was being mindful of the upcoming Champions League second leg with Real Madrid when he sent out a watered down line, but it’s now all backfired on the manager. Two straight losses in the week across all competitions sees the Citizens slip to a 2-2-2 record in their last six outings overall.

On the bright side, Premier League form has been better of late. The loss to Southampton was their first defeat in their last six fixtures (four wins and a draw). Home form though features three wins and three losses in their last six at the Etihad, all which include defeats to top-table sides: Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.

 

Arsenal Look To Clinch Top 4 finish
Arsenal’s bid for a Top 4 finish improved following a hard-fought win over Norwich City at the Emirates. The Gunners edged the Canaries 1-0 to collect the precious three points. With the Citizens losing and the Gunners winning last weekend the gap opened to three points. The premium on the win this weekend therefore couldn’t be any greater. Another three points for the Gunners over the Citizens at the Etihad and Arsenal’s place in the Premier League’s elite would be practically assured. By that same token, a win for Man City would see Manuel Pellegrini’s side move into third spot above the Gunners with all left to be decided in the last round of England’s top flight.

As it is, Arsene Wenger’s side boast a 19-10-7 mark and 67 points with two games left on the season. Home form has been their saving grace with an 11-4-3 mark while road form is a so-so 8-6-4. Recent away form stands at 1-2-0 in their last three and includes a surprising scoreless draw away to Sunderland. Delving deeper the prognosis isn’t auspicious with just two wins in their last nine outings around the league. Those came to struggling Everton and promoted AFC Bournemouth, which is hardly a ringing endorsement of their away form or top table credentials for that matter.

 

Match Betting Odds and Picks
Given what is at stake in this fixture and the less than stellar form of both clubs involved, the market is predictably somewhat coy. Man City are the home favorites on the Premier League odds board with soccer odds ranging from +130 to +160 depending on your choice sportsbook, but those soccer odds are hardly convincing when Arsenal are trading just a smidgen larger at +172 or thereabouts. It can’t be said that bookies are cornering this game in any side’s camp.

As such, we’re on the fence here with our soccer picks. Man City’s home form leaves something to be desired and the hangover of the recent spate of results can’t be ignored. On the flipside, the Gunners appear to lack guts and glory, particularly on the road. They’re not exactly feared by their top-flight peers. As mentioned above, the Gunners have just two wins in their last nine away fixtures.

This has us considering the draw bet with the pair cancelling each other out at the Etihad. That can be backed at a tempting +251 with Bookmaker. Yet, Arsenal haven’t lost to Man City in their last five meetings across several competitions. So that brings us to two ways to play this game. The first, the double chance bet with Arsenal to win or draw at -167 with Bet365. The second, Arsenal draw no bet at +100. Given the latter offers more attractive soccer odds we’re settling on it for our soccer picks.

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Soccer Picks: Arsenal draw no bet at +100
Best Line Offered: at William Hill