Arsenal host Manchester City to close out the Premier League’s opening weekend. City were convincing winners in last week’s Community Shield, but could still make changes heading into Emirates. Arsenal have one major change from last year’s squad, as Unai Emery is the first new manager for Arsenal in 22 years. =
Arsenal vs. Manchester City Odds
City are road favorites on Sunday, priced at -125 on the three-way moneyline according to OddsShark.com. Arsenal are a major underdog, valued at +330 to knock off the defending champions. The draw is priced at +295.
It’s expected to be a high-scoring affair, and the goal total is at three for this matchup. The odds are near identical, but the over is a slight favorite at -110.
Manchester City have won their opening match for seven straight years, and have only lost two of their last 12 league meetings with Arsenal.
Arsenal vs. Manchester City Prediction
18 straight league wins. 106 goals. 32 wins. 100 points.
Those are all Premier League records broken by Manchester City last season, but Pep Guardiola knows his team must be even better this season to win a consecutive title.
“That’s my experience at Bayern Munich and Barcelona – you always have to demand more to keep that level,” Guardiola told reporters earlier this week.
In an effort to keep that level, City could make a major change at the back. Claudio Bravo silenced Chelsea in the Community Shield last week, but he could lose his starting spot to Ederson before the season gets underway. Despite missing the entire preseason due to the World Cup, both Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne are available for City.
Unai Emery is already dealing with injuries before his debut, and it could lead to an unconventional start in his defense. Danny Welbeck is buried on the depth chart at forward, but the team has been experimenting with Welbeck at multiple roles. With Nacho Monreal’s status in doubt, there’s a shot we see Welbeck at left back on Sunday.
Riyad Mahrez makes his first Premier League start for City, and he could start next to World Cup participant Bernardo Silva.
While I think this game could be open, City have the quality to overcome. It’ll be interestig to see who if anyone can challenge City this season, or if the club’s greatest enemy will be apathy.
Prediction: City wins 3-1