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Arsenal versus Manchester City: A season hangs in the balance

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In a titanic clash, Manchester City - lying third in the table - travel to London to take on Arsenal, who are just one place above them. The Premier League season hinges on this match.

The winner will have the advantage going into the busy festive period, and could possibly enter the new year top of the table.

Inconsistency?

Neither Man City nor Arsenal have shown consistency over the course of the season so far, losing to clubs they would be expected to beat.

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Most recently, Stoke City for the former, and West Bromwich Albion for the latter. Furthermore, even when they do grab the three points, it is often unconvincing, perhaps just edging out their weaker opposition.

It is this lack of consistency which sees surprise package Leicester City lie top of the table. They are a team which have lost just once this season, and sit two points clear of their sole victors, Arsenal.

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Favourites for the title

However, given that Leicester are a relatively small club with a pretty shallow squad, not many expect them to last the distance. They have been incredibly fun to watch, but many predict that injuries and fatigue will hit the Foxes sooner rather than later.

Furthermore, with Manchester United, who are in fourth place, facing goal-scoring problems and the ire of the fans, it leaves the Gunners and the Citizens headlining the chase for the Premier League title.

Importance

This match is a crucial one for both teams.

A victory for the home side would lift them four points clear of the Blues, and place immense pressure on leaders Leicester. Furthermore, it would be a massive confidence-booster for the emaciated Gunners squad, having already beaten Manchester United this season.

FBL-ENG-PR-ARSENAL-MAN UTD

Once known for going missing in the big games, the 11 players who take the field in red and white can prove they can slug it out with the big boys, and get the win, beautiful or ugly.

Meanwhile, a victory for Man City would propel them above their hosts, and place them in the driving seat for the title race. Furthermore, a win - especially a convincing one - would crush the spirits of the Gunners and following a recent run of poor results, could affect them mentally.

Thus, Man City would have the psychological advantage in beating their rivals to the title, especially since they have won the title more recently, and have a deep squad to last the distance.

Who will win?

Manuel Pellegrini welcomes back top scorer Sergio Aguero, which would be a huge confidence boost for his team. However, captain Vincent Kompany remains out, which means the Chilean will have to keep faith with the inconsistent duo of Eliquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi in the heart of defence.

Manchester City v Southampton - Premier League

Arsenal's squad remains the same as their last match, with no returns (no Sanchez), but fortunately for them, no new injuries. This leaves them relatively thin, however, the form of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud will be a worry for Man City's leaky backline.

This one is too close to call. But one thing is for sure, the victor will have their eyes firmly set on the Premier League trophy.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Manchester City
Premier League
Football

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