By: Fasika Zelealem
Manchester City Odds Against Arsenal for July 18th
Current FA Cup holders Manchester City take on Arsenal in the semi-final of the competition. The winner of the tie takes on either Chelsea or Manchester United in the final at Wembley.
City dispatched Watford 6-0 in the final last year to win their sixth FA Cup title and their first since 2011, making them the first and only English club to complete a domestic treble, having won the EFL Cup and the Premier League earlier that season.
On their way to the semi-finals, they’ve beaten Port Vale, Fulham, Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United, setting up a tie with the most successful club in FA Cup history, Arsenal.
The North London club has won a record 13 FA Cups with the last one coming in 2017, after defeating London rivals Chelsea 2-1. This is Arsenal’s first semi-final since winning the cup and have a tough task to get past the current holders.
City is coming off two mightily impressive 5-0 victories against Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion leading up to the match, while Arsenal is coming off the best victory of their season, defeating Premier League champions Liverpool 2-1.
Goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Reiss Nelson sealed the deal for the home side who capitalized on uncharacteristic mistakes made by Alisson and Virgil Van Dijk to claim all three points and become just the third side to defeat Liverpool in the league this season.
Manchester City Odds Against an Attacking Arsenal
Arsenal’s route to the semi-finals involved wins over newly-promoted Leeds United, Bournemouth, Portsmouth and Sheffield United.
With Arsenal out of the Europa League, the FA Cup is the only chance to collect silverware, however, the sportsbooks has them as the least favorite to win the trophy with their odds opening at +1200.
Despite Arsenal’s record of 96 wins, 57 losses and 45 draws against Manchester City, recent results tell a completely different story.
City has six straight league wins against Arsenal, scoring three goals in five of the six games, including the last three games. Arsenal’s last league win against City came back in December 2015 where they did the double over City.
Sportsbooks odds on City getting to their second consecutive FA Cup final opens at -333. Odds on Arsenal defeating the current holders for a spot in the final open at +800. Odds on the score being level at full time opens at +475.
Who is This Game More Important For?
Despite Pep Guardiola’s insistence that finishing second in the Premier League is more important than winning the FA Cup, I stand by my opinion that this game and the FA Cup, in general, is much more important for Manchester City than Arsenal.
One note; with the money City have spent, they better get to every final and give themselves an opportunity to win every trophy they can, because that’s what they paid for.
Second note; Arsenal have had three managers in one season and are truly at the beginning of their rebirth, although a trophy will be nice, it won’t mean much in comparison to what they plan to aspire in years to come under Mikel Arteta.
Third note; I don’t really have a third note apart from City will miss Sergio Aguero, their leading scorer in history and they’ve scored 10 goals in their last two games, that’s it.