clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Arsenal at Manchester City match thread: for (almost) all the marbles

A clash at the top of the Premier League table that will likely decide the title.

Manchester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal face Manchester City at the Etihad today, in a match that will most likely decide the Premier League title. There’s not much more to say that hasn’t been said already. Everyone knows this is the match of both team’s seasons. These are the games you dream about as a player and as a sports fan. The ones where it’s all on the line. This is what the countless hours of hard work in the weight room, film room, and on the training ground are for.

It’s time for the Gunners to put up or shut up. This is where the rubber meets the road. The going has gotten tough, so the tough have gotta get going. They’re a young team that has overachieved incredibly this campaign. This match shouldn’t define their season. It’s an overwhelming success regardless of the result. And it won’t define this group of players going forward. Except if they win (or draw and still win the Premier League title).

If Arsenal win, they’re once again favorites to win the title, somewhere in the 55-60% range. A draw means City win the title about 75% of the time. A loss is pretty much the end of the Gunners’ title hopes — they win the Premier League less than 10% of the time with a loss.

And why shouldn’t they win? This bunch has magic about them since last season. They fell short down the stretch a year ago, so they’ve got that experience to draw upon to help avoid the same fate. They’re an almost impossibly young bunch. Some might say that works against them, that they don’t have the experience of winning to know what it takes. I say it works in their favor. They don’t know enough to be afraid or nervous.

The soccer gods, if they exist, should be on our side. How could the powers that be want the plastic, robotic, financially-enhanced super team to win another one? Arsenal have done it right. They made the tough decision to rebuild the roster from the ground up and endured some uncharacteristically lean years as a result. They developed their own stars in the academy, augmented them with smart purchases, and play fun, attractive football. Karma should be on our side tonight.

I could give you a litany of reasons that Manchester City are much more likely to prevail today and be top after Matchday 38. The numbers and the logic suggest it. But I believe in this Arsenal squad. Even if they lose, I’ll probably keep believing they’ll find a way until they mathematically cannot. And if it turns out this isn’t their year, their time will come. This bunch will win one (or more) of the next few Premier League titles.

So let’s do it. Come on you Gunners.

Arsenal - Ramsdale, White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Xhaka, Ødegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Jesus

Manchester City - Ederson, Walker, Dias, Akanji, Stones, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Bernardo, Grealish, Haaland

WHAT: Arsenal vs Manchester City
WHERE: The Etihad
WHEN: Wednesday, April 26th, 12 pm PT | 3 pm ET | 8 pm BT
HOW TO WATCH: Streaming on Peacock.