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Arsenal V Manchester City – FA Cup Semi-final – 23 April, 2017

Arsenal managed to avoid their fifth successive away defeat by defeating minions, Middlesbrough, 1-2 at the Riverside Stadium on Monday night. But they are far away from the kind of form that would prepare them for positive results in bigger games to come. The Gunners now will have to take on a much more confident Manchester City for A FA Cup semi-final clash at the Wembley stadium on Sunday. For City, Vincent Kompany has announced his return from a prolonged injury spell with a bang, scoring his first goal since August 2015. The veteran Belgian’s stewardship, organization and composure at the back will mean a City side who will be hard to score against. Although Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil got goals in the Gunners win over Middlesbrough, it’s hard to see them make any goal-mouth impact against a CIty defence that suddenly looks much more solid as was evident in their emphatic 0-3 away win over Southampton last weekend. De Bruyne and Leroy Sane are looking swift and incisive as ever with the latter joining the ranks of City’s prolific scorers this season.

A under-pressure Arsene Wenger could try his new 3-4-3 formation that exactly didn’t work wonders with Middlesbrough. With one man less in the defence, the Boro were able to counter-attack and find gaps at will, a aspect that could not have eluded Pep Guardiola as he prepares to meet the Gunners on April 23. It’s hard to imagine what would happen if Alexis Sanchez were to leave the Emirates, for right now he’s Arsenal’s lone saving grace. With forms having completely deserted once-vaunted players like Theo Walcott, Ozil and Olivier Giroud, the Gunners’ only hope of producing something at the Wembley would rest on the brilliant Chilean striker.

Sergio Aguero will be a solid threat to an already shaky Arsenal defence and with the likes of Sterling, Sane, Silva and De Bruyne adding firepower to the City attack, it would be a miracle if Arsenal were to come away with a clean sheet.

Manchester City’s lone win in the FA Cup after 1969 was in 2011. No one excepting Manchester United has won the FA Cup more number of times than Arsenal. Of the Gunners 12 wins so for, two were in as recent as 2014 and 2015. In their present dismal form, few are expecting them to achieve the feat for the 13th time. As for the April 23rd clash at the Wembley, Pep Guardiola’s men are the clear favourites.

 

Bet 365 odds

Man City win: 10/11

Arsenal win: 29/10

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