Table decorators Manchester City face Arsenal in Premier League Week 16 when the teams face off on Sunday 18 December 2011.
Man City suffered their first loss of the league season when they lost 2-1 away to Chelsea in Game Week 15. Lampard became an instant hero for the home side when he came off the bench to score the match winner seven minutes ahead of time. . The teams were stuck at 1-1 after Balotelli’s early lead for City was neutralized shortly before the interval on the back of Raul Meireles’ strike. City started explosively with attacking waves in the first half hour to exploit Chelsea’s porous defense. This culminated with Balotelli’s goal, when Aguero stepped in from the right to pass the ball past Terry to Aguero who in turn passed it to Balotelli to do the rest. At the end of the day, City reportedly took advantage of their many missed first-half scoring opportunities as the home side’s defense was at sea, trying to cope with City’s marauding attack.
In week 15, Arsenal recorded a 1-0 victory over Everton, in a game hosted by Gunners at the Emirates. Robin Van Persie – who else – scored the only goal of the game to give Arsenal something to celebrate their 125th anniversary. Van Persie’s spectacular volley in the 71st minute relieved home fans frustrated by the home side’s many missed opportunities.
Head to head, over the past 10 years, Man City and Arsenal have faced each other in 20 league games, with Arsenal winning 14 times and City winning 3 with the remaining games ending in dead ends. The last time these teams met was in January 2011; this match played in the Emirates ended in a scoreless stalemate.
Man City have won 8 and drawn and lost 1 in each of their last 10 league games, while Arsenal have won 8 identically and drawn and lost 1 in each of their last 10 games.
Currently at the top of the table, City have hosted 7 home games this season, winning all 7; the Gunners who are 5th in the standings had 3 wins, 1 draw and 3 losses, in their 7 away games.
While Chelsea caused a slight shake from City in Matchweek 15, the Manchester side will have a point or more to prove against the Gunners, whose dilapidated defense could be strained to date.
Man City’s starting eleven against Chelsea: Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Joleon Lescott, Vincent Kompany, Gael Clichy, James Milner, Gnegneri Toure Yaya, Gareth Barry, David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli.
Arsenal’s starting lineup against Everton: Wojciech Szczesny, Johan Djourou, Per Metresacker, Laurent Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen, Mikel Arteta, Alex Song, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Yao Gervinho, Robin Van Persie.