Back in October 1975, Rod Stewart notched up his third UK number one with Sailing, future Hollywood star Kate Winslet was born and Rodney Marsh’s flicked header was the difference as Manchester City beat Arsenal 3-2 in the league at Highbury. Fast forward to 2015 and despite travelling to face the Gunners a further 30 times in the league, Manchester City have picked up just one more victory in 40 years of hurt for the Citizens.
On Monday night Arsenal have another chance to add to their incredible home run over Manchester City, and stretch the gap to four points between the two sides in the race for the title.
As our infographic shows, Arsenal’s win rate at home to Man City since 1975 is a staggering 63 per cent, with City’s sole win coming almost three years ago when Laurent Koscielny was sent for an early bath and James Milner (!) and Edin Dzeko gave the Citizen’s a 2-0 win. In the Premier League alone, City’s away record to Arsenal reads 11 loses and six draws from 18 matches.
And Arsenal fans have plenty to feel confident about heading into the massive Christmas clash. The Gunners have the best record of any top flight side in the year 2015, picking up 2.14 points per game and posting a win rate of 66 per cent. They’ve also got the meanest defence, keeping clean sheets in 43 per cent of their league games this calendar year – a statistic that can only be helped by the ultra-dependable Petr Cech.
Whisper it quietly, but could this genuinely be Arsenal’s year?
One man who is certainly helping their cause is the French Adonis himself, Olivier Giroud. After a mixed start to the season which included starting a few matches from the bench and getting sent off in the disastrous Champions League defeat to Dinamo Zagreb, Arsenal’s star striker has caught fire in front of goal. Giroud’s opener against Aston Villa took him to the 50 mark after just 113 Premier League games, and also continued a run of 11 goals in 13 games in all competitions for the Gunners. Just when we thought our man-crush had peaked…
While you may argue that City are ‘due one’ after 40 years of misery away to Arsenal, we’re happy to back the trends and thus an Arsenal win at odds of . Notably 61 per cent of City’s Premier League games away to Arsenal have featured under 2.5 goals, including seven of the last eight, so it looks set to be tighter than Neil Ruddock’s waistband and under 2.5 goals is worth a punt at .
Sailing down the river of that logic, the on Arsenal to win 1-0 could be the bet that kick-starts our Christmas week in style, while it’s that the in-form Giroud bags the opening goal of the game.
But as it’s the festive season of magical wonderlands and endless binges of food and drink, it’d be rude not to have a bit of loose change on Giroud to score the only goal in a 1-0 win for the Gunners. A cheeky 33/1 scorecast that might just ease the hangover from any upcoming office parties…