It is perhaps appropriate that Arsenal and Manchester City face off for the first time this Premier League season on the week that Europe’s top club competition resumes. These are by some distance the two best teams in England and though the Gunners are not currently in the Champions League it seems eminently plausible that in the years to come these two could be competing for continental silverware as well as domestic prizes.
For now, the stakes are high enough with top spot in the Premier League up for grabs. If City win at the Emirates Stadium, something they have done on their last six visits, they will go first on goal difference, albeit having played one more game than Arsenal. The title will not be won on Wednesday night but the result could yet have a major say on who are the champions come May. Here is how you can watch the match and what you need to know:
- Date: Wednesday, Feb. 15 | Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Emirates Stadium — London, England
- Live stream: Peacock Premium
- Odds: Arsenal +188; Draw +240; Manchester City +140 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Arsenal vs. Manchester City
Arsenal: A second winless game — the first time this has happened to them in the Premier League this season — was rather tempered by a sense of injustice around Arsenal at the way in which Brentford’s equalizer was allowed to stand on Saturday. Ivan Toney flicked in from close range but, having spent three minutes analyzing Ethan Pinnock’s grappling with Gabriel, VAR Lee Mason failed to draw lines that would have shown Christian Norgaard was offside in teeing up his teammate.
Arsenal have received an explanation from head of refereeing Howard Webb over the decision but they would rather the two points that they might have held on to earn despite an insipid display against Brentford. There will certainly be close attention paid to the officials; John Brooks had been due to serve as VAR for this match but paid the price for his own critical error that robbed Brighton of a goal on Saturday. His place will be taken by David Coote.
Manchester City: Erling Haaland has featured in all bar one of City’s Premier League games this season, starting 20 of 22, but could be unavailable for the trip to north London after limping out of the win over Aston Villa on Sunday. Julian Alvarez is a more than capable alternative but the Emirates Stadium would doubtless exhale in relief if the Norwegian were nowhere to be seen come Wednesday.
“Erling has a knock; he was uncomfortable,” said Pep Guardiola. “At halftime, I spoke with the doctors. They said maybe with the score like it is we don’t take risks, and I agreed.
“If the score was tighter, then maybe I don’t do it. I think he is not injured but on Monday we are going to see. Hopefully, he can be in for Wednesday. But if he is not ready or there is some risk, he is not going to play.”
Both sides might be happy to settle for a draw in this game rather than gamble on a win if it could bring about defeat. Pick: Arsenal 1, Manchester City 1