Quite easily, Manchester City is the team to beat this season.
After 10 games, Pep Guardiola’s team is the only side to remain unbeaten and are perched on top of the league table. The high flying Citizens have so far been impeccable, winning nine and drawing one. To top that, they’ve scored 35 goals and conceded just six.
Arsene Wenger will be wary of those numbers as he leads his troubled team into battle at the Etihad Stadium.
City is the overwhelming favourite, yet November has proven to be the team’s undoing in the past two seasons. When the winter chill has descended on City, their performances have mirrored the bleak skies above. The Manchester club had recorded an average of 1.8 points in the matches played from November to January in the last two seasons – compared to the 2.3 average from August to October.
At the same time, the Citizens haven’t had a successful run against the Gunners, winning just once in their last nine matches against Arsenal in all competitions. The win however, came in the exact same fixture last season.
Wenger’s team has seemingly gotten over the early slump by piling on two back-to-back wins over Everton and Swansea City, after a shock 2-1 loss to Watford. But the Gunners are likely to miss out on the services of German defender Skhodran Mustafi, who is suffering from a groin injury.
Their opponents, meanwhile, have been going from strength to strength with the likes of Sergio Aguero leading the attacking line with Kevin De Bruyne bossing the midfield. German forward Leroy Sane has also been in great form, and City might prove unstoppable yet again if he hits his straps. The 21-year-old has so far been involved in 11 of his team’s goals – the most by any player this Premier League season – having scored six himself and making five assists.
Guardiola too has a decent record against Wenger, with the Spaniard leading his teams to four wins in five home meetings, drawing once. But Guardiola is yet to keep a clean sheet against Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium.
The Catalan will be eager for his team to continue the run of form and dispel any November blues.