16th Jun 2020 | Premier League
Football's Back. But Home Advantage has Gone.
Arsenal are the only team in Europe's top-5 leagues to be unbeaten in domestic matches in 2020. And yet the bookies don't give them a prayer against a City side perhaps the least excited in the division to be on a pitch again.
The Premier League returns, but are Pep Guardiola and his outgoing champions really looking forward to it? Time will tell but this is an early opportunity to test the home advantage hypothesis ie that it doesn’t really exist during a pandemic. How could it in an empty stadium?
Besides which, City have next to nothing to play for in a restarted Premier League. The title has gone and Champions League football would already be assured, were they not banned. They could be the least motivated outfit in the division, unless Pep can work wonders.
It’s hard to know how the bookies are factoring everything up in uncharted territory but BetVictor’s best price 17/2 on Arsenal would look good in ‘neutral’ terms, not least given what we saw heading into the lockdown.
While City lost meekly 2-0 to their local rivals United last time out, Arsenal are yet to lose a domestic match in 2020. Arteta had a Coronavirus scare back in March, but hopefully, three months on, he is feeling 100%, and with a wealth of personal experience from his time coaching at the Etihad.
Odds correct at time of publishing: 07:45 16th Jun, 2020 but subject to change