Manchester City vs Arsenal: Stats behind City’s top performers
Pep Guardiola has exceptional quality throughout his squad but three key figures have helped to put City on course for a historic treble.
Reigning champions Manchester City play league leaders Arsenal on Wednesday in the most hotly-anticipated match of the season so far.
Man City got off to a comparatively slow start this campaign but have really clicked into gear since the turn of the year and have closed the gap considerably. They are currently five points behind the Gunners but have played two games fewer, meaning that the league title will be in their own hands as long as they can avoid defeat on Wednesday.
With so much riding on the outcome, Wednesday’s Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium could well be decided by a single moment of brilliance and Manchester City have no shortage of talent in their squad.
We take a look at the stats behind their performances…
Manchester City: Star players
If they can haul in Arsenal this season Manchester City will claim their fifth Premier League title in six seasons, an incredible run under Pep Guardiola. City have been excellent throughout that period but there is a belief that this year’s team could go one step further and achieve European success.
With thanks to our friends at Sofascore, here’s the stats behind City’s top performers so far this season...
The introduction of Erling Haaland up front has added an absolute ruthlessness to City’s exceptional build-up play. He is on track to smash the Premier League’s single-season goal scoring record Guardiola will hope that he can take them to the next level in the Champions League too.
In the Premier League Haaland is running at more than a goal per game and is far exceeding his xG; a measure of chance quality. The Norwegian has scored 32 goals from chances that would result in 22.65 goals on average, an astonishing over-performance of nearly ten goals.
Kevin de Bruyne
But while Haaland has assumed goal-scoring responsibilities, he relies on the brilliance of those behind him to create the chances. Kevin de Bruyne has starred again this season and his delivery has been essential to Haaland’s success, contributing 3.3 key passes per game on average.
Currently on 15 Premier League assists De Bruyne could even break the record of 20 assists in a single season, shared by himself and Thierry Henry.
In the past few months Jack Grealish has established himself as the number one pick on the left wing for City. The Englishman had a tough season after his club-record move from Aston Villa in 2021 but he has shown this year that he can contribute in Guardiola’s system.
Not only has he boosted his goal and assist numbers, but as his heat map shows he is also willing to track back and pick up the ball in deeper positions. Guardiola has employed a hybrid back four/back three system this season and Grealish’ ability to cover the whole left flank has been vital.
Guardiola was full of praise for Grealish’s form after the league win over Arsenal in February. The City boss highlighted the “ambition” and “aggression” in Grealish’s performance that day.
“Attacking the backline, the quality was always there,” he added. “But his commitment to taking a risk and making important decisions right now is making the difference.”