Manchester City v Arsenal; the psychology and form

This year, Arsenal’s form has been erratic.  Having suffered a 5-1 defeat by Liverpool they have been through ups and downs…

01 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Fulham W 4-1
05 Jan 2019 Blackpool v Arsenal FAC W 0-3
12 Jan 2019 West Ham United v Arsenal L 1-0
19 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Chelsea W 2-0
25 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Manchester United FAC L 1-3
29 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Cardiff City W 2-1

The win over Chelsea looked particularly encouraging until Bournemouth went two better, and suggested Chelsea were not all we thought they were.  The win over Cardiff was not emphatic against a team with such a poor away record, and Arsenal were completely beaten by Manchester United.

Manchester City started the new year like a team going for the title but had one little wobble last week.

03 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Liverpool W 2-1
06 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Rotherham United FAC W 7-0
09 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Burton Albion Lge Cup W 9-0
14 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers W 3-0
20 Jan 2019 Huddersfield Town v Manchester City W 0-3
23 Jan 2019 Burton Albion v Manchester City Lge Cup W 0-1
26 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Burnley FAC W 5-0
29 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Manchester City L 2-1

and as we can see they slipped up against Newcastle, perhaps mistaking the team for another Burton.

Such results can give players extra nerves – a sense of “not letting that happen again” entering their play.

But their home form is probably far too impressive to allow for such nerves and it would need a team who are brilliant away from home to upset them.

The home form league table shows us just how solid Manchester City are at home

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 12 11 0 1 40 10 30 33
2 Liverpool 12 10 2 0 32 7 25 32
3 Arsenal 13 10 2 1 28 11 17 32
4 Chelsea 12 7 4 1 21 9 12 25
5 Manchester United 12 7 4 1 25 16 9 25

11 wins and just one defeat – showing the team scoring almost four goals a game.   Away from home Arsenal don’t have any form remotely like this…

1 Tottenham H 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
2 Liverpool 12 9 2 1 23 7 16 29
3 Manchester City 12 7 2 3 23 9 14 23
4 Chelsea 12 7 1 4 19 14 5 22
5 Manchester Utd 12 6 2 4 23 19 4 20
6 Leicester City 13 5 3 5 17 18 -1 18
7 Watford 12 4 4 4 17 16 1 16
8 Arsenal 11 4 3 4 22 22 0 15

Arsenal away have won four, drawn three and lost four and they are equal in goals scored and goals conceded.

Which really places the psychological issues at Arsenal’s door.  What is worse is that the psychological issue of Arsenal’s 5-1 defeat to Liverpool will still be raw, and a couple of early goals for Manchester City could lead to disaster.

Even a recourse to recent history doesn’t help Arsenal much… – results again from Arsenal’s point of view…

08 May 2016 Manchester City v Arsenal D 2-2 Premier League
18 Dec 2016 Manchester City v Arsenal L 2-1 Premier League
02 Apr 2017 Arsenal v Manchester City D 2-2 Premier League
23 Apr 2017 Arsenal v Manchester City W 2-1 FA Cup
05 Nov 2017 Manchester City v Arsenal L 3-1 Premier League
25 Feb 2018 Arsenal v Manchester City L 0-3 League Cup
01 Mar 2018 Arsenal v Manchester City L 0-3 Premier League
12 Aug 2018 Arsenal v Manchester City L 0-2 Premier League

Four straight defeats in the last four games, with only one goal scored and 11 conceded, and just one win in the last eight matches.  This will also weigh on Arsenal minds.  I think it will be a win for Manchester City with much difficulty.

 

 

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