Mark Lawrenson predicts Manchester City v Arsenal

Arsene Wenger

Both sides clash at the Etihad in Manuel Pellegrini's goodbye game at Eastlands.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Mark Lawrenson has predicted that Manchester City will give Manuel Pellegrini the perfect send-off by beating Arsenal at Eastlands this afternoon.

It is third meets fourth at the Etihad Stadium as the Sky Blues host the North London giants knowing that victory would see them move above Arsene Wenger's side on goal difference and take a big step toward Champions League qualification.

Meanwhile, a point would effectively secure automatic qualification into Europe's elite competition for the Gunners, who have looked slightly sluggish in recent weeks after taking five points from the last nine on offer, though they are on an eight-match unbeaten run.

It is Pellegrini's final game at Eastlands, with the Chilean set to be replaced by Pep Guardiola this summer, and Lawrenson believes that factor, coupled with a belief that the Arsenal boys are on "holidays", is the reason why he is expecting a home victory.

"A point would pretty much make sure of third place for the Gunners but I just do not fancy them away from home at the moment. I think too many of their players are on their holidays," he said to BBC.

"City will move above Arsenal on goal difference if they win, but are in danger of dropping out of the top four if they lose.

"I am going for the former - it is Manuel Pellegrini's final home game in charge of City and the players and fans will want to give him a decent send-off at Eithad Stadium. 2-1."

The 62-year-old certainly deserves a decent send-off, having won three trophies during his three-year stay at the club, including a Premier League title in 2014.

But it is also a City side who were knocked out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage in midweek, and Pellegrini's boys may be suffering the ill effects of such a disappointment.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch