Manchester City vs. Arsenal: Critical Info for Week 16's Pivotal EPL Clash

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IDecember 13, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19:  Mesut Oezil of Arsenal celebrates as he scores their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Norwich City at Emirates Stadium on October 19, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Premier League leaders Arsenal will travel to hostile territory on Saturday to face off against Manchester City in a high-stakes showdown to kick off Matchday 16.

The Gunners enter the weekend six points clear of fourth-place City in the league table, but could see that lead cut in half if the Citizens and their high-powered attack can remain unbeaten at Etihad Stadium.

Arsenal boast the league's best road record this season, having won five of seven matches away from the Emirates. But City have been outright dominant in front of their home crowd, going 7-0-0 there in league play and outscoring their opponents 29-2 over that time.

Clearly, Arsene Wenger's squad will need to turn in a memorable performance in order to come away with three points for the fourth time in five weeks.

With kick-off right around the corner, let's get you set with all the critical information you need to know for Week 16's marquee clash.


When: Saturday, Dec. 14 at 7:45 p.m. ET, 12:45 p.m. GMT

Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England

Watch: NBC Sports Network (U.S.), BBC One (U.K.)

Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra (U.S.), BT Sport 1 (U.K.)


Match Forecast*

Manchester City: 51.8 percent

Arsenal: 24.8 percent

Draw: 23.4 percent

*Odds according to Bloomberg Sports.


Premier League Implications 

Premier League Table Top Four
4Manchester City159242629

Obviously, the stakes are sky-high any time two of the league's top four teams meet. But Saturday afternoon's showdown in Manchester could loom large at the end of the year with Arsenal currently possessing a five-point lead in the table and a six-point lead over City.

While a City victory would pull the Citizens within three points of first place and provide Liverpool and Chelsea with a shot to get within two points of the lead, an Arsenal win would put City eight points back nearing the season's midway point. 

Given what's at stake and City's recent form at home, it's fair to say that Arsenal would be content to earn a draw. 

However, anything less than three points would be considered a missed opportunity for Manuel Pellegrini's side. 


Player to Watch: Sergio Aguero, Manchester City 

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01:  Sergio Aguero of Manchester City in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Swansea City at the Etihad Stadium on December 1, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/G
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The most dangerous man on the pitch on Saturday will be City striker Sergio Aguero. The 25-year-old Argentine is on fire coming into this weekend's match having scored in each of City's past two league games and 12 times overall in 14 appearances. 

Only Liverpool's Luis Suarez has scored more Premier League goals this season.

What's more, Aguero's dozen goals match his 2012-13 total and represent slightly more than 29 percent of City's 2013-14 team total. 

For Arsenal, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud will be two players worth following closely. The duo have combined for 15 Premier League goals this season and will be itching to deliver big performances after being kept under wraps in last week's 1-1 draw with Everton.


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