The pick of the 10 Premier League games on matchday 21 this weekend is the last of the lot as the two favourites for the title, Arsenal and Manchester City, collide at the Emirates on Monday night.

Both still trail surprise leaders Leicester City, but top spot will be up for grabs if the Foxes are beaten at Everton on Saturday. 


It has been a good couple of weeks for the Gunners since the below-par 1-1 draw at Norwich City at the end of last month.

Arsene Wenger's side have won three in a row, scoring eight and conceding just one to stay hot on the heels of Leicester and also scrape through to the Champions League knockout stage.

Last week's 3-0 win at Olympiacos put Arsenal through the group stage for the 16th year in a row, but they finished second behind Bayern Munich and were duly punished with a last-16 tie against favourites for the crown and defending champions Barcelona.

Next year's two-legged tie will be the third time in 10 years that the two teams have met, and Arsenal have lost every time.

They lost to the Catalan giants in the 2006 final before going out 6-3 and 4-3 on aggregate in the 2010 quarter-finals and 2011 last-16 stage respectively.

The worst imaginable draw, then, but if the Gunners do go out as expected it might just breathe more life into their Premier League hopes. With defending champions Chelsea, who yesterday parted company with Jose Mourinho, wallowing near the bottom, and neither Manchester club setting the pace, this might be Arsenal's best chance in recent years to end their 12-year wait for the English title.

After three without a win, the Gunners have won back-to-back league matches against Sunderland and Aston Villa - the league's bottom two clubs. Olivier Giroud opened the scoring at Villa Park last weekend and the Frenchman has five goals in the Gunners' three recent wins, while Aaron Ramsey is also back in form having bagged two goals and an assist in the wins over Sunderland and Villa.

At the other end, Petr Cech's clean sheet on Sunday equalled David James's Premier League record of 169 shutouts. T

hree of Arsenal's next four Premier League games are at home, and the Gunners are unbeaten in their last six league games at the Emirates since the opening-day defeat to West Ham United.

Recent Premier League form: WDLDWW

Recent form (all competitions): LWDWWW 

Manchester City

While Arsenal were handed arguably the toughest tie of the last 16, City will be happy with their opponent for the first round of the knockout stage after having to face Barcelona the last two years in the same round.

Paris Saint-Germain, who Chelsea got for the third year in a row, were the second-placed team to avoid for City and they instead drew Dynamo Kiev.

City have insisted that it is not an easy draw, but they will be confident of reaching the quarter-finals of Europe's elite competition for the first time. Domestically, Manuel Pellegrini's side go into this match a point behind their opponents after squeezing past managerless Swansea City last Saturday.

Former Swans striker Wilfried Bony opened the scoring at the Etihad, but it looked like City had thrown it away when Bafetimbi Gomis ended his goal drought in the 90th minute.

City were able to spare their blushes, though, as Yaya Toure's shot looped up off the back of Kelechi Iheanacho and into the far corner.

It was a fortuitous way to win, but it means that Iheanacho's two Premier League goals this season have won Man City four points; the same total that Giroud's nine goals have earned Arsenal.

City have won five of their last six Premier League home matches, but it is a different story on the road.

Pellegrini's side have won none of their last four away league games and failed to score in the last three in a row, drawing blanks at Manchester United, Aston Villa and Stoke City.

If they fail to find the net at the Emirates, it will be the first time in almost 10 years that they have gone four straight away league games without a goal.

Recent Premier League form: WDLWLW

Recent form (all competitions): LWWLWW 

Team News

The big team news from Wenger's press conference yesterday was that Alexis Sanchez could return after three games out with a hamstring injury.

The Chilean forward is unlikely to play from the start, but may be in the matchday squad and could make an impact off the bench if the Gunners need him. Mikel Arteta is also close to a return, but Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Danny Welbeck, Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere remain absent.

While Sanchez is unlikely to start, City fans will be hoping that their star-man, striker Sergio Aguero, is able to be named in the starting lineup.

The Argentine is back in full training and could replace Bony in attack for the Citizens if deemed fully fit. Captain Vincent Kompany and right-back Pablo Zabaleta are also doubts, but Kevin De Bruyne could return after he was dropped to the bench due to fatigue against Swansea. 

The Gunners 247 Prediction 3-1 To The Gooners

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