In the biggest game of the weekend, Manchester City host Arsenal for a big game in the title race at Etihad Stadium.
Arsenal are currently atop the table and six points ahead of City, but the Sky Blues are improving slowly as we enter the festive period.
Man City has had no problems at home, while Arsenal has had very few problems away from home. A win for the Gunners would give them a nine-point cushion before the toughest run of the season. If the home side can win, then they can really crank up the pressure on their title rivals.
- Before the 2006/2007 season, Manchester City had not managed to beat Arsenal in 18 previous meetings in the Premier League. Arsenal had won 17, with just one draw being played out between the two before Man City’s 1-0 in 2006 at home.
- Man City has the best home record in the league this season, winning all seven Premier League games at the Etihad Stadium. The Sky Blues have scored 29 goals and conceded just two in those games.
- Arsenal, on the other hand, has the best away record in the League. The Gunners have won five, drew once and their only defeat came against Aston Villa in the first game of the season.
- Man City has lost twice this season after playing in the Champions League. First to Chelsea in a 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge, then a 1-0 loss away to Sunderland.
- Arsenal has scored eight goals in the final 15 minutes of games in the Premier League, more than in any other 15-minute period.
Conversely, Man City has conceded six goals during the final 15 minutes of league matches, more than at any other time.
- Arsenal’s top goalscorer, Aaron Ramsey, has scored five of his eight Premier League goals away from home. The Gunners have won every league game which he has scored in this season.
- Sergio Aguero is Man City’s top scorer with 12. The Argentine has already equaled his tally from last season, despite the season being only 15 games old.
- The Sky Blues have scored 41 goals in the league, more than any other side. Last season, at the same stage, the Manchester club had only managed 28 goals.
- Arsenal has only failed to score once in their last 20 Premier League matches, when they lost 1-0 away to Manchester United.
It has been over a year since Arsenal last failed to score away from home. The Gunners drew 0-0 away to Aston Villa on Nov. 24, 2012.
- The last time Man City did not score at home in the Premier League was more than three years ago, when they suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Arsenal on Oct. 24, 2010.
Taking Man City's home form into account, a draw would be an acceptable result for Arsenal, although the league leaders will want to get back to winning ways after drawing at home to Everton last week and losing mid-week to Napoli.
In previous seasons, when Arsenal lost, there would be doubts over whether the Gunners could bounce back. This season, this ability to recover has been evident. Each time Arsenal has lost, against Aston Villa, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea and Man United, the London side has won the next game.
City's home form so far this season has been remarkable. A 6-0 victory of Tottenham and a 4-1 win over rivals Man United have been the highlights of their campaign, and after the victory away to Bayern Munich, the Blues will be in confident mood. The home side was also able to rest the likes of Aguero, so tiredness should not be a problem.
It will be the toughest game of the season so far for both teams, but Man City will be favourites to come out on top. The performances of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker will be key as they tackle the best attack in the league.
City have the better squad, and when at their best, they are easily the best side in the league. Their home form has demonstrated this, and a continuation of this will see Man City win, perhaps comfortably.