Heading into a UEFA Europa League match against Eintracht Frankfurt on November 28, Arsenal FC Manager Unai Emery, most experts said, needed a win to hold on to his job. Unfortunately for Emery, his team could not produce that win, blowing a 1-0 halftime lead to fall 2-1. The next day, Emery was out of a job. But without a big win over back-to-back English Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday, interim boss Freddie Ljungberg could also soon be looking for work.
According to a BBC report, Ljungberg already ranks behind a pair of bigger names in Arsenal’s hunt for a new head coach. The top rumored names to take the job are recently fired Napoli Manager Carlo Ancelotti, who has piloted several of the biggest-name clubs in world football — and Mikel Arteta who has never held a professional head coaching job, but was a star midfielder for the Gunners from 2011 to his retirement in 2016.
But while Ancelotti has a resumé that includes Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, and Chelsea, Arteta has spent the past three seasons as the top assistant to Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola, helping the iconic manager lead the Sky Blues to consecutive Premier League titles.
All of which indicates that if Ljungberg wants to audition for the job, he will need a convincing win over Guardiola’s side, which would be only his second win in five matches at the Arsenal helm.
Watch a preview of the Arsenal FC vs. Manchester City Sunday match in the video below, courtesy of NBC Sports.
Guardiola’s team has struggled so far this season, and with just 32 points from 16 matches, they look little like the club that only two years ago set a Premier League record as the first team to reach the 100 points mark. In fact, City sits 17 points behind leaders Liverpool and appear to have fallen out of the title race before Christmas.
Nonetheless, oddsmakers still see the defending champs as heavy favorites. despite playing on the road at the Emirates on Sunday. According to a Yahoo! Sports report, Manchester City come in at odds of 1.47 — meaning that bet of $1 would pay off just $1.47. Arsenal, on the other hand, sport longshot odds of 6.20, with the odds of a draw at 5.40.
Arsenal have dropped four straight matches in league play to Manchester City, and five straight overall including the 2018 League Cup final. The last time the Gunners lost five straight top-flight league matches to a single team came between September 1983 and August 1985, when they dropped five in a row to Manchester United in the former First Division.
The game kicks off at 4:30 p.m. local time, 11:30 a.m. EST in the United States, where the Arsenal-Manchester City showdown will be televised by NBC Sports.