Soccer Picks & Tips for Manchester City vs. Arsenal

Nila Amerova

Friday, December 13, 2013 5:02 PM GMT

The marquee match of EPL week 16 is arguably the clash between Man City and Arsenal. Find out what the odds makers have released and where the angles for profit are to be had.

Man City firm favourites

Man City are the bookies’ favourites when league leaders Arsenal visit Etihad Stadium. Bet365 install Man City as the -120 favourites to win outright, a market stance underscored by the Sky Blues’ sublime form at home which stands at a perfect 7-0-0 to date and includes 29 goals scored and just two conceded.

Indeed, Man City have been nigh flawless at home and will present Arsenal a tough test at the weekend. Beating Bayern Munich during midweek Champions League action, coming from a goal down to win 3-2 no less, also helps advance their cause in soccer betting circles.

That said Man City are after a 1-1 draw to Southampton at the weekend, an outcome that saw them fall six-points behind Arsenal in the table. Overall, they are 4-1-1 in their last six matches home and away in Premier League.

Arsenal tipped the massive underdogs

Despite owning a five-point cushion atop the Premier League table and a commendable 11-2-2 record this season, which includes a 5-1-1 record on the road – the only defeat coming to Man U at the Old Trafford – Arsenal are listed as the hefty and maybe even disingenuous +375 underdogs to win outright at Bet365.

Since the defeat to Man U, Arsenal have gone undefeated in four straight games and pulled off three clean sheets. The most recent result however was a 1-1 draw to Everton at the Emirates. Overall, they are 4-1-1 in their last six games, a run of form that matches Man City’s identically.

Arsenal are after a 2-0 defeat to Napoli in midweek Champions League that almost proved very costly. Had the Italians scored one more goal Arsenal may have been eliminated from Champions League by Napoli altogether but, as it stands, they only lost top spot in Group F to Borussia Dortmund who beat Marseille to clinch top spot.

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Soccer Betting Verdict: Man City’s win over Bayern Munich was quite the statement-making win. Although it wasn’t enough to win the group, beating the European defending champions definitely sends the right kind of message to the rest of the field. What’s more, it sends them back into domestic commitments with a verve and swagger they can look to build upon at the expense of league leading Arsenals.

That transformed confidence added to a fantastic season and wonderful home form recommends Man City strongly against Arsenal, no question about it. And that in turn highlights their value at -120 soccer odds to win outright. What’s more, Man City have the advantage of an added day’s rest over Arsenal, who played Napoli on Wednesday and returned to England on Thursday.

Effectively, Arsenal have just a day to prepare for this extremely important fixture, not least to put behind them the close call in Italy and refocus their efforts to domestics – something that could go towards explaining their hefty +375 odds to win outright at Bet365.  Still, those odds do seem rather disproportionate considering Arsenal’s season and Arsene Wenger’s knowhow; after all, he is an experienced manager, no stranger to running campaigns on multiple fronts. And while his beloved Gunners have had a tough schedule of late (he’s made some noise about it), he’ll be sure to prepare them for the challenge Man City present at Etihad. It wouldn’t do to underestimate Arsenal or dismiss them out of hand. Certainly, if the Sky Blues do, they could pay the price of a first home defeat this season.

On balance, when two quality sides collide there is value on both sides of the coin because theoretically the match could go either way, despite the somewhat lopsided soccer odds currently in swing across sportsbooks. A fact evinced by the sports betting polls that are divided equally between Man City and Arsenal on the win.

For our part, while we do recognize Man City have the advantage and tick all the right boxes, we’re going to take a chance on Arsenal because if there is a team to hand Man City a first home defeat, league leaders Arsenal fit the bill.

Soccer Free Picks: Arsenal to win outright at +375; Over 2.5 at -154.