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Big Game Preview: Manchester City vs Arsenal

Arsenal travel to Manchester this coming Sunday in search of a victory which could send them into the top four of the Barclays Premier League, and put them within eight points of opponents Manchester City.

The Gunners will be full of confidence following last weekend’s emphatic 3-0 home win against Stoke City, whilst Man City were held to a 1-1 draw at Everton. The reigning champions are only two points behind leaders Chelsea, and with Arsenal hot on the heels of Southampton and Manchester United, it promises to be a fascinating encounter at the Etihad Stadium.

So if you’re planning on travelling to Manchester to cheer on Arsenal with friends or family, then why not book yourself a car hire to make the trip easier? Read on for some helpful travel information, as well as a variety of stats to help get you geared up for the big game.

Head to head

Sunday’s match will mark the 179th competitive fixture between the two clubs, some 122 years since their first ever meeting on 11th November 1893. Woolwich Arsenal, as the club was known as back then, had turned professional just a few weeks prior to the game, but none the less pulled off a 1-0 victory on the day. The light blues, meanwhile, went by the name of Ardwick AFC at the time, before reforming as Manchester City the following year.

Since that first meeting, the Gunners have beaten the Citizens on no less than 88 occasions, giving them a win ratio of roughly 50 per cent. 48 matches have ended in a draw, whilst the Manchester side have come out on top 42 times.

If history is anything to go by, then both sets of supporters should be in for an entertaining spectacle on Sunday, as the fixture has yielded an average of 2.8 goals per game. The teams last met in September last year, with the match ending in a 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsène Wenger’s men will be looking to avoid a repeat of their last visit to the Etihad, however, when the Light Blues put six past them in a sensational 6-3 win back in December 2013.

Honours: Arsenal

Image by Joshjdss
Image by Joshjdss

• League Champions: 13 (Last won: 2004)
• FA Cup: 11 (Last won: 2014)
• League Cup: 2 (Last won: 1993)
• European Cup: 2 (Last won: European Cup Winners’ Cup – 1994)

Honours: Manchester City

• League Champions (top division): 4 (Last won: 2014)
• FA Cup: 5 (Last won: 2011)
• League Cup: 3 (Last won: 2014)
• European Cup: 1 (European Cup Winners’ Cup – 1970)

Did you know?

If you, like millions of others up and down the country, follow your team home and away every weekend, then you may well have a set routine ahead of every game. It could involve meeting up with friends for a pre-match breakfast at your local greasy spoon café, or something superstitious, such as taking the exact same route to every home game. The build-up to a match is often one of the most exciting parts, particularly if you’ve got a few juicy stats up your sleeve to impress your friends and family with. Let’s face it, most football fans are a sucker for a random bit of trivia. So, without further ado, we present you with a few interesting snippets of Arsenal-related knowledge courtesy of whoscored.com.

51.4%: The number of Arsenal goals this season which Alexis Sánchez has been directly involved in – more than any other Premier League player this season.
15.4: Average number of dribbles per game from Arsenal players, the highest of any Premier League team this season. Man City are sixth, with 10.8.
16.3: Arsenal’s average number of shots per game, second only to Manchester City’s 17.6.
58%: Arsenal’s average possession so far this season – the third highest in the league. Man City top the charts with 60%.

So there’s a few stats to keep you busy, but how about getting to know the players and their families a little better? Check out this hilarious mockumentary featuring Arsenal stars Per Mertesacker, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere.

How to get to the Etihad Stadium

Image by Guts Gaming
Image by Guts Gaming

Roughly 200 miles separate Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and the Etihad, with the average journey time by car coming in at just under four hours (excluding stop-offs). Got your match tickets booked, but not yet decided on the best way to travel north?

Book a car hire in London and enjoy a comfortable journey straight to the ground.

Directions

From London, head north-west on the A1 before connecting with the M1. Follow it north and then join the M6, following signs for Coventry/Birmingham. Continue on before joining the M56, which will take you into the heart of Manchester – merge with the A57(M), exit onto Every Street then follow signs to the stadium.

Parking

There are several official parking sites in the immediate vicinity of the stadium, available to away supporters on a first come, first serve basis. The sites open three hours before kick-off and charge £10 per car. Alternatively, you can park up at some of the other car parks located within a few miles’ radius of the ground. More information for travelling fans can be found here.

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