Arsenal vs Manchester United preview, betting tips and prediction: Fine margins to decide big clash at the Emirates
Arsenal to win and BTTS @ 7/2 with Betfair
Game to finish 1-1 @ 11/2 with Betfair
Draw HT/Manchester United FT @ 6/1 with Betfair
For years, Manchester United vs Arsenal was the main event in the Premier League, and Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson had some great battles over the years. Those days are gone, though; the Gunners have not been at their best for arguably 13 years now, while even Manchester United have dropped off since Ferguson retired in 2013. Now, though, the rivalry between the two clubs could be returning, with Wenger going head-to-head with Jose Mourinho once again, a manager he has never got on with.
Despite losing this fixture last year, United boss Mourinho has a fantastic record against Wenger. That was the first time the Frenchman had beaten him, and you can bet anything that Mourinho will not allow a repeat, especially with Manchester City maintaining a hefty eight-point gap at the top of the Premier League. Here starts a busy period of eight games in just four weeks; it could make or break anybody’s season.
We see this one going either way, but with an unbeaten record to protect, Arsenal could just snatch the points.
Arsenal have been in contrasting domestically an in Europe. After a tough start which saw them lose at Stoke and get thrashed by Liverpool, the Gunners have recovered and are well on the way to challenging for a top four spot again. They may have topped their Europa League group, but the 1-0 defeat at Koln, who are bottom of the Bundesliga, shows how it hasn’t all been plain sailing, albeit with many first team regulars missing. The highlight of their Premier League campaign was beating Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium recently. Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette were a huge threat that day, and they will look to press high against Manchester United.
The visitors were also undone in the Champions League away at Basel last week, and their away form in the Premier League has been quite poor of late. They were beaten at Huddersfield and Chelsea, meaning they could once again be up against it in this one. But Mourinho has made it clear in the past he is willing to take a draw in games such as this; the lack of consistency for striker Romelu Lukaku is proving a consistent issue.
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Ozil, who has been linked with a move to Old Trafford in the summer, is a doubt having missed the weekend win at Burnley. It remains to be seen whether he faces Huddersfield in midweek. But there aren’t too many issues for Wenger to contend with, the biggest question being if he will start his strongest attack. Judging by United’s frailties on the road, he surely has to.
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The continued absence of Phil Jones will frustrate Mourinho, but Victor Lindelof appears to slowly be getting to grips with Premier League life. Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s absence after Mourinho criticised his work rate means he is also unlikely to start. Could Zlatan Ibrahimovic return to the starting XI for the first time since signing his new deal?