After over three months without action, the Premier League returns today with a blockbuster clash between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
The fixture throws up a number of interesting subplots, particularly the matchup between Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and his former mentor Pep Guardiola.
Looking at the numbers going into the game, one would have to bet on City taking all three points. But then, football is never decided on paper.
Check out a breakdown of the stats ahead of tonight’s fixture.
Manchester City have won their last six matches against Arsenal in all competitions, their best ever winning run against the Gunners.
Arsenal have lost their last five league matches against Man City; they last had a longer losing run against an opponent between 1974 and 1977 against Ipswich Town (seven in a row).
This will be both Manchester City’s and Arsenal’s second competitive match played in the month of June in their histories – Man City beat Newport County 5-1 at home in a second tier match in 1947, while in the same year Arsenal lost 1-2 at Sheffield United in the top-flight.
Manchester City have lost seven Premier League games this season, one more than they had in their previous two campaigns combined. The average league position of their opponents in these seven defeats this season is 9th – Arsenal’s place in the table coming into this match.
Arsenal are unbeaten in their last seven away league games (W1 D6), with each of their last five in a row ending level. The Gunners have never drawn six consecutive away league games.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is unbeaten in all seven of his away games in all competitions for the Gunners (W3 D4) – the longest ever unbeaten away start to a managerial reign in Arsenal’s history.
Man City’s Sergio Agüero has scored 10 goals in his last 12 appearances against Arsenal in all competitions, netting a hat-trick in the Citizens’ 3-1 win in this exact fixture last season.
Man City boss Pep Guardiola has never lost a home match against Arsenal in all competitions in his managerial career (P7 W6 D1), with the Gunners netting exactly once in each of these seven encounters.
Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne has been directly involved in six goals in his last seven Premier League starts against Arsenal (four goals, two assists), netting a brace in a 3-0 win at the Emirates earlier this season.
Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 49 goals in 75 Premier League appearances – if he scores in this game he’ll be the sixth fastest player to reach 50 in the competition, with only Andy Cole (65), Alan Shearer (66), Ruud van Nistelrooy (68), Fernando Torres and Mohamed Salah (both 72) doing so in fewer games.