Arsenal v Manchester City Betting Preview: Mancini's men to show squad depth but Vermaelen worth a punt

China is the setting for this clash of Premier League heavyweights on Friday. Adam Bate thinks the champions have the quality in numbers but he's eyeing a long-shot bet too
It’s a classic Premier League encounter on Friday when Arsenal take on Manchester City. The curiosity is that the game is being played in Beijing, China.

A lucrative money-spinner it may be, but neither side will want to be embarrassed ahead of the forthcoming league campaign.

Arsenal, in particular, will be keen to show they are capable of closing the gap on the Premier League champions at a time when they risk losing their captain Robin van Persie to City.

The Van Persie subplot is a side issue here given that the Dutchman has not travelled to the Far East, but the Gunners will be determined to show what they are capable of in his absence.

Arsenal are 2/1 (3.0) underdogs with William Hill to win this one.

Manchester City are understandable favourites given their squad depth. Mario Balotelli has only just returned from Euro 2012 duty but Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez have already featured in pre-season.

Vincent Kompany, who has just penned a new six-year deal, is also well into his training having had the summer off and even got on the score-sheet against Besiktas at the weekend.

City are 11/10 (2.1) with William Hill to show their superiority on Friday with a win. The draw is available at 11/5 (3.2).

In the goalscorers market, Thomas Eisfeld is an Arsenal youngster from Germany who few will have heard of but he did find the net against a Malaysia XI on Tuesday and can be backed to score first here at 16/1 (17.0).

An even longer shot for the Gunners would be Thomas Vermaelen, who skippered the side in that game.

The Belgian has a respectable goalscoring record for Arsenal with 13 Premier League goals in just 67 games and that makes the 25/1 (26.0) price for him to net first a good value bet in this one.

Of course, the more obvious selections are among the City line-up and both Tevez and Aguero are available at 4/1 (5.0) with William Hill to open the scoring.

And while Vermaelen may attract the more speculative punter, City’s quality when the substitutes start to get involved makes backing Roberto Mancini’s men the best bet here.

Manchester City to win at 11/10 with William Hill
Vermaelen first goalscorer at 25/1 with William Hill

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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on

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