Arsenal v Manchester United – Emirates Stadium at 17:30
If the history between these two sides is anything to go by, this clash on Saturday is set to be a tasty affair. The Red Devils and The Gunners have had a healthy rivalry for a number of years, as Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson oversaw a number of intense fixtures.
For the visiting Manchester United, key man Nemanja Matic is a doubt after withdrawing at Watford. Fellow midfield man Marouane Fellaini is also missing due to injury. Michael Carrick, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly will also be missing for the Reds.
Arsenal seems to be in better shape than their rivals, but summer signing Alexandre Lacazette could miss the match after a groin strain against Huddersfield. Long-term injury Santi Cazorla will remain on the sideline for the foreseeable future.
Lukaku needs to start firing
After a blistering start, Romelu Lukaku has hit a wall at United. The summer signing from Everton couldn’t stop scoring at the start of the season, but since the match against rivals Liverpool in early October, Lukaku has failed to find the net.
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic returning from injury and breathing down Lukaku’s neck, the Belgian will know that he needs to start finding the net. What better game to do so than in a big match against rivals Arsenal?
Catching up to Pep’s City
This match sees two of the three sides trailing Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table. Whilst United sit 8 points behind their cross-city rivals, Wenger’s Arsenal trail by 12 points.
Saturday’s evening clash is the ultimate test of how serious these sides are of catching up to Pep’s City side. A loss for either could really rule them out of Premier League contention as we approach the mid-season point.
The Red Devils may not have won at the Emirates Stadium since 2014, suffering 3-0 and 2-0 defeats in their most recent appearances there, but I expect Jose Mourinho to look to put a right to that this weekend. He could look to frustrate an Arsenal side that will look to play football, as he has done so against so many of his top four rivals.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Manchester United – 0.25 at 2.612
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