Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson believes Arsenal will once again come unstuck on their travels to a fellow top of the table club, forecasting a 2-1 win for Manchester City in his BBC predictions column.
The Gunners travel to Manchester looking to avenge their 6-3 defeat at the Etihad stadium last season though a number of injuries makes their cause seem somewhat unlikely.
Aside from their depleted defence, Arsene Wenger’s men have notoriously struggled on their travels when facing sides in or around the top four.
This season, an excellent victory at West Ham United has been overshadowed by poor results at Chelsea, Southampton and Swansea City.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side, on the other hand, have already defeated the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Spurs at the Etihad and Lawrenson is backing them to add the North Londoners to their list.
“Arsenal will always win more games than they lose but I am still not convinced by them when they play the big teams, which is why I would back Manchester City here,” he told the BBC.
“Alexis Sanchez has been great and the Gunners are a good team who will finish in one of the Champions League spots, but that is where they are at - they won't push Chelsea or City for the title.”
“City have not lost in the league since they were beaten 2-1 by West Ham in October, and their last result that could possibly be construed as a negative one was when they were held 2-2 by Burnley in December after leading 2-0, but even then they had no strikers.”
“So they are going very well, and signing Wilfried Bony from Swansea will give everybody at the club a lift, even if he is away at the Africa Cup of Nations at the moment.”
“I only see one outcome - a win for City.”
While the odds are against the visitors from claiming a positive result, Wenger’s men can take comfort from the fact that star player Alexis Sanchez seemingly loves to play against Manuel Pellegrini’s teams.
The Chilean international is undefeated in his nine encounters with the Citizens’ coach, winning seven and drawing the other two.