BBC Sport pundit states his prediction for Man City v Arsenal
Mark Lawrenson looks ahead to Arsenal's trip to face Man City in the Premier League on Wednesday night
Mark Lawrenson is backing Manchester City to claim a dominant 2-0 win over Arsenal in their Premier League clash at The Etihad on Wednesday night.
The Gunners are preparing to travel up north to take on Pep Guardiola’s men in their first game since the season was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic back in March.
The Premier League clash will be played behind closed doors as Mikel Arteta’s men look to reignite their hopes of finishing in the top four this season.
Arsenal are currently down in ninth place in the Premier League table and eight points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea FC with a game in hand.
Manchester City, meanwhile, are second in the table but a staggering 25 points behind leaders Liverpool FC, who are just two wins away from sealing their first-ever Premier League title.
Former Liverpool FC star Lawrenson feels that Manchester City are the heavy favourites to win Wednesday night’s clash, simply because of the quality of Guardiola’s squad.
“City’s last game was a derby defeat at Old Trafford, when they did not really turn up,” Lawrenson wrote in his BBC Sport column.
“That performance is long gone now, though – I am sure most of their players cannot remember last week, let alone their last game.
“Neither they nor Arsenal are going to have changed too much since we last saw them – you just know City will have trained loads with the ball and they will play good, attacking, football.
“I don’t think Arsenal will have found a steely resolve in midfield or defence, because they have just not got it.
“I would expect City to win because, regardless of the fact they are playing in an empty stadium, they have got better players than Arsenal.
“City’s potential European ban is hanging over them a little bit – the decision on their appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport is due in July.
“But even if their suspension is upheld, I cannot see Arsenal making fifth spot and qualifying for the Champions League that way.
“Yes, they won three league games in a row before the season was stopped but they were playing teams you would expect them to beat – West Ham, Everton and Newcastle.
“It was not a sign that anything had changed with the Gunners. It might feel like a new season, but they are the same old Arsenal.”
Arsenal have won their last three games on the spin in the Premier League under Arteta, who was brought in as Unai Emery’s replacement back in December.
Meanwhile, Manchester City have won three of their last five outings in the top flight.