Arsenal v Manchester City: the prognostications

By Bulldog Drummond

At the moment of writing this match is still on, with Arsenal’s touchline made up of skeletons (or to quote the Telegraph “Arsenal could host Man City with a skeleton coaching staff”) but with the way things are going, who knows what will happen. 

However on the basis that we are going ahead, here goes with the preview.

The “last six match” table has been bringing us good news for several months now, reflecting as it does just how quickly and thoroughly Arsenal has recovered from the start of the season.  But as of today it still incorporates our two defeats to Manchester UJniuted and Everton at the start of the month, which now drags us down…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 6 6 0 0 22 4 18 18
2 Tottenham H 6 4 2 0 13 4 9 14
3 Manchester United 6 4 2 0 10 5 5 14
4 Liverpool 6 4 1 1 11 5 6 13
5 Arsenal 6 4 0 2 17 6 11 12
6 Leicester City 6 3 1 2 15 12 3 10

Interestingly the form table based on the last ten shows the “big six” teams from days of yore, now re-established in the top six spots, with the upstarts Leicester from the “last six” table above replaced by Chelsea – who have not been doing so well of late.

Premier League Form (Last 10)
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 10 10 0 0 31 6 25 30
2 Arsenal 10 7 0 3 22 10 12 21
3 Liverpool 10 6 2 2 23 10 13 20
4 Tottenham Hot 10 5 3 2 16 10 6 18
5 Chelsea 10 4 5 1 17 11 6 17
6 Manchester Utd 10 5 2 3 14 16 -2 17

These two tables do give us a real sense that the old order is being re-established and much of the talk about teams breaking into the “big six” group as one or more of the old timers fade away, being a bit of a wishlist from journalists seeking another easy story.  “The old order fades” – we get it every year for a while.

When we look at the season for a whole what we see is West Ham still clinging on in fifth place and Tottenham outside the top six but with two games in hand.  Meaning they could leapfrog Arsenal, West Ham and Manchester United.  And indeed their position of second in the last six table suggests they could do it.

But back to today… and our games against the rest of the traditional big six do not lead to very many encouraging thoughts…

Date Match Res Score Competition
22 Aug 2021 Arsenal v Chelsea L 0-2 Premier League
28 Aug 2021 Manchester City v Arsenal L 5-0 Premier League
26 Sep 2021 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 3-1 Premier League
20 Nov 2021 Liverpool v Arsenal L 4-0 Premier League
2 Dec 2021 Manchester United v Arsenal L 3-2 Premier League

Manchester City have had far fewer troubles despite only having one of their big six games at home – a rather horrible affair against Arsenal.

Date Match Res Score Competition
15 Aug 2021 Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City L 1-0 Premier League
28 Aug 2021 Manchester City v Arsenal W 5-0 Premier League
25 Sep 2021 Chelsea v Manchester City W 0-1 Premier League
3 Oct 2021 Liverpool v Manchester City D 2-2 Premier League
6 Nov 2021 Manchester United v Manchester City W 0-2 Premier League

So the fact is whether we look at last six, last ten, or the results between the big six, there is nothing to suggest anything other than the fact that Manchester City are indeed a very powerful team who have scored 18 goals in their last four league matches conceding three.


The one interesting thought against that is that we have scored 14 in our last four league matches conceding one.   Which if Untold’s normal predictive form is maintained means it could be a goalless draw!

But there is one table where the teams are much more evenly matched, and it is not one created just for this little article!  If, as we have been doing all season, we compare Arsenal at home with our visitors away, we get this…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
2 Arsenal home 9 7 1 1 17 6 11 22
1 Manchester City away 10 8 1 1 20 6 14 25

On that basis (and I stress this is not a table created just for today, but one we have run before each game this season for Arsenal and the opposition) the teams are very evenly matched, and a 1-1 or 2-2 draw looks like the most likely result.   I think I’d happily take either.

More anon.

3 Replies to “Arsenal v Manchester City: the prognostications”

  1. I have a bad case of ‘Cityitis’ , and I do mean ‘Cityitis’ and not cystitis. Arsenal to win.

  2. I thought I’d look in a bit more in depth at how we have both been performing in our last 7 matches. I chose the last 7 specifically to avoid our away match at Liverpool since when we have improved. Before we start I concede if that game was included then the conclusions I have drawn would be different. For ease I have rounded up or down some small decimal points.

    Anyway here goes.


    Their last 7 matches consisted of 3 Home and 4 Away resulting in 7 victors, scoring 24 and conceding 5. That’s an average of almost 3.4 goals scored per match.


    Our last 7 matches also consisted of 3 Home and 4 Away resulting in 5 Victories and 2 defeats, scoring 19 and conceding 6. That’s an average of 2.7 goals scored per match.

    So points wise Man City exceed our tally, but we had arguably a more difficult set of fixtures, including playing 2 top 6 teams in the shape of Man Utd away and West Ham at Home. On the other hand Man City played nobody in the top 6 at all. By league position their hardest Away fixture was Villa, currently 12th, and their toughest Home fixture was Wolves, currently 8th.

    Despite our arguably very slightly tougher run of games, goals for and against are pretty close.

    I think Man City are the best team in the Premier league, I have no doubt about that, but what these figures suggest is that we are closer to them now than we have been for quite some time.

    Next thing I looked at was what Tony looked at last. How we compare over our last 4 Home matches to Man City’s last 4 away matches, but in a bit more detail.

    ARSENAL played West Ham, Southampton, Newcastle Utd and Watford, scoring 8 and conceding 0

    MAN CITY played Brentford, Newcastle, Watford and Aston villa, scoring 10 and conceding 2

    Again extremely closely matched with an identical points return and goal difference.

    So both of us are not having any problems scoring and we are both conceding very few. So what lies behind those goals in the last 4 matches ?

    ARSENAL : Total Shots = 74 = 18.5 per match.
    MAN CITY: Total Shots = 73 = 18.0 per match.

    ARSENAL : Total Shots On Target = 25 = 6.25 per match.
    MAN CITY: Total Shots On Target = 30 = 7.50 per match.

    ARSENAL : Ratio of Shots On Target To Shots = 1.00 in 3.00 per match.
    MAN CITY: Ratio Of Shots On Target To Shots = 1.00 in 2.50 per match.

    ARSENAL : Total Goals = 8 = 2.0 per match.
    MAN CITY: Total Goals = 10 = 2.5 per match.

    ARSENAL : Ratio Of Goals To Shots = 1.00 in 9.25 per match.
    MAN CITY: Ratio Of Goals To Shots = 1.00 in 7.20 per match.

    ARSENAL : Ratio Of Goals To Shots On Target = 1.00 in 3.00 per match.
    MAN CITY: Ratio Of Goals To Shots On Target = 1.00 in 3.00 per match.

    -We have both managed the almost identical amount of shots.

    -We both score an identical amount of goals in relation to our shots on target

    Where Man City achieve a slight advantage is that from the shots they have they get 0.5 per match more on target than us and that results in them scoring 0.5 more goals than us per per match.

    These more in depth figures suggest that Man City are slight favorites to edge a game with goals, perhaps 1-2 or 2-3. But Tony’s prediction of a 1-1 or 2-2 draw is not a million miles away from what we might well see.

    I think to achieve that we will have to be at our very best, and we will have to be brave and play our game, and if we do, we may well snatch a draw, and like Tony I would certainly take that right now.

    Either way everything points to a great match with goals. Lats hope for a New Year treat.


    PS: Please excuse any mistakes. Their will be some. Please just point them out.

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