BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson has stated his prediction for the New Year’s Day Premier League clash between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners have been in fine form lately with four successive league wins, but they face a stiff challenge against the Cityzens, who are on a stunning 10-match winning league streak.
Ahead of the game, Lawrenson has backed the visitors to come on top with a 11th straight league triumph. The former Liverpool star fancies a 3-0 win for the reigning champions.
He told BBC Sport: “As much as Arsenal have improved, and as good as their home record is – only Manchester City’s is better this season – there is still a huge gulf between these two sides.”
“The difference is not going to be as big as it was when City beat the Gunners 5-0 at Etihad Stadium in August, but taking on the leaders is a heck of an ask for Arsenal’s young side.
“When I look at how City have been playing during their run of 10 straight league wins, I can only think this is going to be victory number 11.”
The Gunners have responded tremendously after a poor run of three defeats from four matches. However, they will need an exceptional performance to outclass City.
The last nine league meetings have all gone in the favour of the Mancunian outfit. Pep Guardiola’s side have scored 24 goals in that period while conceding just twice.
It has been a one-sided affair lately, barring two sublime wins in FA Cup semi-finals (2017 and 2020). The current crop of players have the chance to end the wretched run.
They will have to cope without manager Mikel Arteta, but it would be a huge statement in the top-four race if they can defy odds with a surprise victory at the Emirates.
The Cityzens have tended to bag an early goal in recent meetings. It remains to be seen whether the current Gunners backline can nullify the early attacking threat.
Takehiro Tomiyasu could be a big miss after testing positive for coronavirus. Ben White has a huge job at hand, operating from an unfamiliar right-back position.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
Read: Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to miss Manchester City game.