The two most effective teams in England this season have been Arsenal and Manchester City. The top two teams in the league have not yet faced off against one another this year due to extraordinary circumstances. After Queen Elizabeth II passed away, their initial confrontation was postponed.
In the fourth round of the FA Cup, Pep Guardiola, the master, and Mikel Arteta, the apprentice, square off. Arsenal, who also have a game in hand, are ahead of City by five points following their victory over neighbors Manchester United. And this game is more of a mental struggle between the two sides as they compete for bragging rights.
Instead, the goal is to increase their lead as the FA Cup’s most successful club. Arsenal has won the FA Cup 14 times, two more than the nearest opponent Manchester United, and the last time was in 2019–10. Arsenal, meanwhile, hasn’t advanced past the fourth round since that victory. Arsenal defeated Oxford United of League One in this year’s third round, 3-0.
Manchester City has struggled to win the FA Cup since they ascended to the top of English football; they have only done so twice since the 1970s. Man City has lost in each of the last three FA Cup semifinals, falling to Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool, with their most recent victory coming in 2018–19. But in this season’s competition, Manchester City has already eliminated one major club, defeating Chelsea 4-0 in the third round. Since they are still in the running for the Premier League championship and are among the favorites to win the FA Cup, Pep Guardiola’s team will be looking to contend for the trophy as part of a triple.
Form Guide: Manchester City
Manchester City is counting their blessings that a certain Erling Braut Haaland returned to form in the weekend’s Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers before they square off against the only English football team that has outperformed them this season.
In an easy 3-0 victory over Julen Lopetegui’s team, Haaland made it four hat-tricks for the Premier League season after a rare goalless streak for the towering Norwegian. He scored three goals—a header, a penalty, and a third goal—to emerge from a brief hibernation.
Guardiola’s team had to barely move out of second gear to defeat a disorganized Chelsea team in round four of the FA Cup, even though they still trail league leaders Arsenal by five points in the Premier League table and have yet to play them this season.
Manche City is attempting to avoid losing in the fourth round for the first time since the 2014–15 season. The reigning English champions have advanced to the semifinals in each of the last four FA Cup seasons, and they have amassed a nine-game winning streak in FA Cup home games, winning by at least three goals each time.
Form Guide: Arsenal
Following their respective derby victory over their neighborhood rivals, Arsenal and Manchester United’s matchup more than lived up to the hype as the two teams engaged in possibly the most thrilling match of the Premier League season thus far.
After a relentless period of second-half pressure from Arsenal, which continued with Eddie Nketiah’s brace and Bukayo Saka’s wonder goal in a 3-2 victory, Man United could have had no complaints about the final result despite breaking the Gunners’ defense twice through Marcus Rashford and Lisandro Martinez.
Nketiah and Mohamed Elneny scored twice in Arsenal’s FA Cup third-round victory over League One club Oxford, continuing their skillful substitutions for injured former Man City attacker Gabriel Jesus. Oxford was able to hold an inferior side before the floodgates broke.
Surprisingly, the 14-time FA Cup champions have only advanced past the fourth round of the FA Cup once since 2017—during their run to victory in 2019–20. In addition, they were eliminated at this level by Manchester United in 2018–19 and Southampton in 2020–21.
The last time Mikel Arteta’s club played another top-flight team in the FA Cup was when they lost to the Saints, but they arrive at the Etihad with a five-game winning streak away from home, during which time they scored 12 goals and kept four clean sheets.
How the game could go
The Premier League title chase may not be affected this weekend, but fans should still watch a fantastic end-to-end spectacle between two terrific attacking forces.
However, neither Man City nor Arsenal has consistently impressed on defense this year, and we simply cannot tell these two clubs apart. As a result, an Emirates replay may be necessary.
The FA Cup, the largest and most prestigious domestic cup competition in international football, will feature an outstanding battle on Friday between the top two teams in England.
The game starts in the evening in Manchester and is played under floodlights. This intriguing matchup has an additional dimension because Man City and Arsenal are currently competing for the Premier League championship.
Manchester City to win
Man City vs. Arsenal, Guardiola vs. Arteta, and the master vs. the student must be the matchup for the FA Cup’s fourth round. On Friday night, Man City has the home advantage, and we anticipate that will have an impact on the result of this game. While Arteta’s team enters this match as the top-ranked team in the league, we think that Guardiola has the advantage over his fellow countryman and anticipate Man City to advance to the draw for the fifth round. Guardiola’s team has won each of their last five matches against the Gunners. Bet9ja have 1.80, 1xbet have 1.83 and Paripesa have 1.83 odds.
We’re predicting goals in a game being played between two attacking sides in good form. Two of the last four meetings between Man City and Arsenal have ended with both teams scoring and over 2.5 goals being produced. At least three goals have been scored in four of Man City’s last five outings as well as in four of Arsenal’s last six fixtures. Both teams have scored in three of Arsenal’s last six matches and two of City’s last three outings, so you can see why we’re backing goals in this game. Bet9ja have 1.55 odds, Paripesa have 1.63 and 1xbet have 1.63 odds.
Anytime Goalscorer (Manchester City)
Led by the unstoppable Erling Haaland, Man City is one of the few teams with the firepower to outscore Arsenal. Backing him to score here in today’s fixture seems to be the right thing to do and he has such a nice selection of odds going for him entering today’s game. Bet9ja have 1.70 odds for him to score while Paripesa have 1.53.
Julian Alvarez comes next in the selections with the young forward in an excellent recent form in front of the goal. He scored in his side’s last game in the PL and today can be rewarded we have seen him perform at the highest levels of the game and this task against arsenal would be no different. He can come off the bench also and be decisive in front of the goal as we have seen previously. Bet9ja have 4.00 odds for him to score while Paripesa have 2.40.
Anytime Goalscorer (Arsenal)
Arsenal’s corker of a win over Manchester United on Sunday, keyed by Eddie Nketiah’s 2nd and 3rd goals of the season, will set the Emirates Stadium grounds alight for weeks to come while helping Arsenal. Today he will be very instrumental in the absence of Gabriel Jesus, we expect him to step up and score again today. Bet9ja have 4.00 odds for him to score while Paripesa have 3.70.
The young English winger has been blowing hot on Gunner’s right-hand side recently and there is no doubt about how impressive he has been this season. Today he faces a Manchester City side he is familiar with and can help his side progress. We have him included here as he can score all kinds of goals from range and within distance so we can expect him to be a favorite to score here. Bet9ja have 5.00 odds for him to score while Paripesa have 5.50.
Football Lover. All-round junkie of the beautiful game. Could be found watching football most of the time. If not he’s writing about them or making some punditry you don’t agree with. A certain bias for Arsenal and Santos FC.