Arsenal and Manchester City Fight for a Champions League BerthPublished May 8, 2016 by Florin P
Arsenal travels to Manchester for the last Premier League derby (4:00 p.m UK Time).
Manchester City made no secret of its plans to focus on the Champions League this season and Pellegrini channeled his entire attention on the European competition. Leicester took advantage and won the trophy, while Tottenham secured direct qualification to the group stage next year. Arsenal is still clinging on to its third-place, one that would allow the Gunners to join the runners-up without going through the playoffs.
The Power of One Point
Arsenal won the first leg against Manchester City by 2-1, so a draw tonight would be enough for the visitors. Even a narrow margin defeat could prove to be enough if the visitors score twice or more, because the Gunners will play against Aston Villa at home in the last round.
After a pair of back-to-back defeats in March, Arsenal returned to its winning ways and avoided defeat in seven straight matches. The last victories were all secured at home, with the visitors being unable to find their way to the net. On the road, they’ve allowed a surprisingly high number of goals and this could be a problem against Manchester City, so the emphasis will be on the defense.
Fatigue is a Real Problem for Manchester City
Playing so many difficult games over a short period of time took its toll on Manchester City, with some of its players suffering from fatigue. The Champions League semifinals against Real Madrid were a roller coaster and their footballers had only four days to rest. At least in theory, the hosts could make one last push and go for a blowout win over Arsenal to ensure direct Champions League participation next season.
With Manchester United and West Ham breathing down their necks, the hosts are under serious pressure and could well succumb to it. Risk-averse punters should know that bet365 Sports has excellent odds of 3/5 on a double chance bet on Arsenal that will finish in the money if the Gunners don’t lose at Etihad.