Manchester City begins defense of their Premier League title on Sunday, as they visit Arsenal in a match that can be seen on NBCSN. City was simply fantastic a year ago, winning 32 games and finishing with 100 points. It will be next to impossible for City to be as good this season and history is against them, as no team since 2008-2009 has gone back-to-back to win Premier League titles.
Let’s look at this Sunday match and Premier League picks.
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Manchester City vs. Arsenal
Date and Time:Sunday, August 12, 2018, 11 a.m. ET
Location:Emirates Stadium, Holloway, London, England
Premier League Betting Online Odds at BETCRIS:
Manchester City -103
Total 3 over -120
Manchester City -1/2 -106
Arsenal +1/2 -119
Manchester City vs. Arsenal TV Coverage:NBCSN
City begins the season as the hunted, as they are coming off the greatest season in Premier League history. Pep Guardiola’s team made one major move in the off-season, as they brought in Riyad Mahrez who had been with Leicester City. City has not been able to defend their Premier League title in the past, failing twice, and captain Vincent Kompany has warned everyone that it won’t be easy this season. “We have won two titles at this club and both times when we came back there was an edge missing,” he said to the media. “That is why it is so difficult to retain titles. Only special teams can do it and we have to become that special team this time.”
City still has a ton of talent and there is no reason to think they will suffer a major drop this season. Sergio Agüero and Gabriel Jesus are excellent scorers, De Bruyne and Leroy Sané are superb in the midfield and the backend is solid.
Arsenal will be starting a season with a new regime for the first time in two decades. We really don’t know what to expect from Unai Emery and this team. What we do know is that Arsenal will have to play an ugly defensive style of football to have any chance to stay with City. New signing Lucas Torreira is the type of player who can play a physical game and that is the type of game Arsenal needs to play to contain City.
Arsenal has a new goal scorer in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and he will be expected to lead the Gunners to a big season. Arsenal also signed Bernd Leno to take over in goal. Petr Cech looked good in the preseason, but he didn’t play well for Arsenal last season, so it could be that Leno gets this start.
The referee for Sunday’s game will be Michael Oliver. He was in charge last year when Arsenal lost 3-1 to City and Arsenal complained he cost them the game. Oliver has been the ref for eight Arsenal games in the last two years and four of the penalties he has awarded have gone against the Gunners. Oliver was the ref for four City games last season and City won them all. That doesn’t say much considering City won nearly every game last season.
City has won the last three matches against Arsenal and they are 4-1 with two draws in the last seven meetings. The teams have combined to score at least three goals in each of the last eight meetings.
Manchester City vs. Arsenal Free Picks
Arsenal is definitely a bit of an unknown starting this season, while we know that City is excellent. I have to go with City in this contest, simply because of their overall talent and because I just don’t know what to think of Arsenal. I also think that the only chance the Gunners have is to play a tight, defensive style, so I will also play the game under the total.
Manchester City vs. Arsenal Pick:City and Under the Total
Manchester City vs. Arsenal Score Prediction:Manchester City 1, Arsenal 0
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