March 9, 2015

Manchester United v Arsenal Asian Handicap Preview – Monday 9th March

Manchester United v Arsenal – Old Trafford at 19:45 live on BBC 1

A huge FA Cup clash for Asian Handicap punters to get stuck into tonight, as two of the Premier League’s heavyweights square off in Manchester for a place in the Semi-Finals of this year’s competition.

Naturally the top priority for both these sides this season has always been qualification for next seasons Champions League. However with a trip to Wembley just one game away and another piece of silverware within sight, there should be no hint of anything less than 100% effort from all concerned tonight.

United are currently clinging on to 4th place in the Premier League by the skin of their teeth, week after week they seem to put in poor, disjointed displays which lack the famed attacking flair and gusto of United’s proud history in the game.

Yet, they have somehow managed to grind out result after result and importantly for tonight it has been at home where they have shown some signs of life under Louis Van Gaal. They are the 2nd best home team in the league with 11 wins, 1 draw and 2 defeats, plus with only 10 goals conceded they boast a better home defensive record than all except Chelsea (just 5 conceded) and Southampton (also 10 conceded).

Despite their troublesome travels, they have only won 4 times on the road, one of those victories came at the Emirates against Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal back in November. The Gunners must have been a little frustrated at being paired with United in the quarter finals because, they have an awful record against the Red Devils recently.

The North Londoners have won just 1 in 15 against United overall and just 1 in 16 at Old Trafford, but maybe they are due a change in luck in the Theatre of Dreams tonight?

The Gunners are in cracking form at the moment having won 10 and lost 2 of their last 12 in all competitions and they have scored 2 or more in 11 of those 12 games, so they should be feeling confident of causing United plenty of problems at the back this evening.

Man United have not faced anyone close to the calibre of Arsenal in the FA Cup so far and yet they have still struggled to get over the line in all three of their previous cup matches. It took a 90th minute goal from Angel Di Maria to finally put the tie to bed against Yeovil, Cambridge United took their illustrious opponents to a replay and Preston North End took an early 2nd half lead before succumbing 3-1 in the end.

The Gunners made hard work of their only FA Cup away game, when from 2-0 up they only just edged out Brighton 3-2 but their home games have been relatively comfortable. With six away defeats this year, Arsenal have not been as solid as usual and this is further illustrated by the fact that they have only kept one clean sheet in their last 10 games on the road.

Robin Van Persie is still out injured so will miss the big game against his old team and Arsenal are still without a handful of players as usual, including Jack Wilshere, Mathieu Debuchy and of course Abou Diaby.

The Asian Goals line for this match is at 2.5 with unders the slight favourite at 1.84 but with neither defence looking capable of keeping a clean sheet against the respective attacks, it could pay to back Over 2.5 Goals tonight at an attractive price of 2.00. 71% of United’s home games and 60% of Arsenal’s away games in the Premier League have ended with Over 2.5 goals this season.

On the main Asian Handicap line, Arsenal +0.25 looks a touch of value at 1.8, however it is about time that Arsenal beat United at Old Trafford and if they are ever going to do it then they won’t get many better chances than this. So, if you are feeling brave then back them on the otherside of the line.

Asian Handicap Recommendation: Arsenal -0.25 at 2.53

Price correct at the time of writing.

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