There was a time, not so very long ago, when we all believed that soccer leagues across the globe would have their seasons wiped out due to the coronavirus. We did see a couple of them decide to call a halt to proceedings and begin to look forward to next season, but the majority of them hung in there and hoped for the best. That patience is about to be rewarded for fans of the English game, with the EPL set to resume business on Wednesday, June 17. All games, as you would expect, will be played behind closed doors for the foreseeable future. On a more positive note, every game will be shown live on TC, with no two games set to start at the same time. We will open up with a doubleheader on Wednesday, with Aston Villa hosting Sheffield United in the first game back. That will be followed by Arsenal heading to the Etihad to face Manchester City, a team that they have struggled against over the past few seasons. Given the dominance that City has had over Arsenal, it is no surprise that they are favored by 1 ½, with the goal total set at 3 ½.
When: Wednesday, June 17 at 1 PM EST
Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
TV: NBC Sports
EPL Odds: Get the Latest Odds at YouWager.lv
Why bet on Manchester City
Manchester City return to action finding themselves in a bit of a strange spot. They are currently sitting in second, 15 points off the pace being set by Liverpool. That would normally mean that they would be a shoo-in for a Champions League spot next season. The problem there, though, is that they have been handed down a 2-year CL ban by UEFA, a decision that is currently in the appeals phase. You do have to wonder just how motivated City will be in the final few weeks, although they might just play with a chip on their shoulder. City have dominated Arsenal of late, outscoring them by a combined 17-2 over their last 6 meetings, including a 3-1 win the last time they were in town. City are 9-2-2 at home scoring 33 and giving up 12.
Why bet on Arsenal
Since the departure of Arsene Wenger, and perhaps even before it, Arsenal have been on a steady decline, going from a team consistently in the top 4 to one that is struggling to keep the pace with the teams in the European slots. Arsenal restart the season in 9th, which leaves them 5 points behind Manchester United in 5th which is the Europa League slot. It has been an inability to put games away that has hurt this team. They only have 6 losses on the season, 1 fewer than City, but their 13 draws mean that they have left a ton of points out on the field. On the road this season, The Gunners are 2-8-3, scoring 14 and giving up 16.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Making picks for the first few games is going to be tough, as you just don’t know how teams are going to react to coming back after a long layoff. Looking at previous meetings, I need to take Manchester City for the comfortable win.
Manchester City 3 Arsenal 1