26-04-23 Daily Football Predictions: Arsenal face toughest test this season

Betting Tips

The pursuing champions face the stumbling leaders in the most anticipated game of the Premier League season on Wednesday night, as Manchester City host Arsenal in a top-of-the-table showdown at the Etihad.

Pep Guardiola’s men defeated Sheffield United 3-0 to go to the FA Cup final over the weekend, after dropping further points in the title battle in a 3-3 draw with Southampton.

Barcelona will try to extend their unbeaten run in La Liga to eight games when they go to the Estadio de Vallecano to face Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, the visitors are looking to get back to winning ways in order to keep their place in Europe for next season.

Manchester City vs Arsenal

Two sides known for their high-tempo attacking play meet at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, with the Gunners leading the standings by five points after two games. Mikel Arteta’s team has lost momentum after three straight draws, two of which saw them lead by two goals away from home before requiring a late double against bottom-club Southampton on Friday night.

Meanwhile, Manchester City has firmly secured its progress in both the Cup and European competition, as well as a six-game winning streak in the league. Pep Guardiola has mercilessly crushed a number of promising teams’ title ambitions in recent years, and fans could be forgiven for believing Arteta will be the next to go.

Manchester City has continued to chip away at an Arsenal advantage that appeared to be unbreakable not long ago, and the margin is now five points, ensuring that the visitors will remain at the top regardless of what happens on Wednesday.

Pep Guardiola’s team, on the other hand, has two games in hand and appears to have the easier run-in, with games against Fulham, West Ham, Leeds, and Everton coming up next. Arsenal must also visit Newcastle United.

Verdict

Manchester City has won their past seven games with Arsenal, and three of their last four matches have resulted in over 2.5 goals. The hosts have won five of their last six matches in all competitions, with all but one of those games producing more than 2.5 goals.

Arsenal has scored at least three goals in each of their past five games, but the visitors have only won two of their last six league and cup matches. It’s difficult to root for Arsenal here. They’ve not only gone cold, but they’ve also forgotten how to defend, as seen by no clean sheets in their last six games.

Seven goals conceded in their last three games, including defeats to struggling West Ham and Southampton, is exactly what you don’t want against a clinical City side.

Erling Haaland failed to score in 68 minutes at Wembley on Saturday, but the Norwegian will be the guy Arsenal must stop on Wednesday, and he’s odds-on to strike at any point. We don’t really need to explain why, but here goes. This season, the Norwegian striker has scored 32 goals in the Premier League, with eight of those goals coming as game-openers. The 22-year-old is currently in excellent form for Manchester City, having scored 15 goals in his past ten games across all competitions.

Tip: Man City & Over 2.5 Goals / Haaland To score

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Rayo Vallecano vs Barcelona

Rayo Vallecano has produced two excellent campaigns since its return to La Liga in 2020/21. Although the current season is not over, the team from Madrid’s outskirts has a good potential of competing on the world scene in the next years. The Red Sashes are currently ninth with 40 points, barely seven points behind sixth-placed Villarreal – the final place that brings the European autumn.

Barcelona may have been eliminated from the UEFA Champions League group stage, the first round of the UEFA Europa League knockout stage, and concluded in the Copa del Rey semi-finals, but that is why they have no equivalent in the Spanish championship. With eight matches remaining till the end of the season, the Catalan behemoth presently leads Primera Liga and has a massive 11-point lead over their nearest partner and largest rival Real Madrid. This implies that the Blaugrana will only need a miracle to give over the title to Los Blancos.

Verdict

Meanwhile, Barcelona’s task is practically done, with a 1-0 win against Atletico Madrid over the weekend giving them a nine-point advantage at the top of the league heading into this round of games.

Xavi’s team has been simply superb all season, but especially recently, maintaining four clean sheets in a row on the road and conceding only nine goals in La Liga all season.

They’ve also won 11 of their 15 league games on the road, with nine of those triumphs coming with a clean sheet.

Xavi’s team even won half of their 12 away games with a score of at least 1-0. This season, they are most proud of their defensive line, which is the greatest not only in Spain but also in Europe. Barcelona has conceded only nine goals in 30 La Liga games. We are confident that another low-scoring contest awaits us, with a single goal deciding the winner. In this situation, we’re going with Barcelona 1-0.

Tip: BTTS (NO) / Under 2.5 goals

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Chelsea vs Brentford

Only one place and five points separate these two Premier League teams coming into their midweek meeting. Chelsea with Lampard is the bookmakers’ favorite, but he has lost each of his first four matches, and we feel that the Bees will offer another sting for the Chelsea great.  Brentford travels to Chelsea for a West London derby on Wednesday, and both teams are currently out of sorts.

The Blues have struggled since Frank Lampard took over as interim manager, and they are now winless in seven games, having lost their past four.

Perhaps more concerning, Chelsea has failed to score in five of their previous six games, and this is their first match since a foregone conclusion in the Champions League at the hands of Real Madrid last week.

Brentford is winless in six games, but a 1-1 draw with in-form Aston Villa at the weekend should give them some hope.

Verdict

Brentford has won and drawn their last two league encounters with Chelsea, and we expect the visitors to avoid loss once more on Wednesday night. Chelsea has lost all four games since Frank Lampard took over, while Brentford have drawn three of their previous six league games.

Ivan Toney is one goal away from reaching 20 in the Premier League this season. The Bees striker continues to impress, and his recent form in front of goal suggests that the Chelsea defense should be concerned. Toney has three goals in his previous five league games, so if anyone is going to score for the Bees on Wednesday, it will undoubtedly be him.

Tip: Brentford Double Chance / Toney to Score

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Below are our top betting fixtures for Wednesday;

1X2 Market

BTTS

Over 2.5 goals

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