Manchester United v Arsenal – Old Trafford at 16:00 live on Sky Sports 1
The title race is over, the top four race is done and dusted and thanks to Arsenal’s shock defeat at home against Swansea on Monday night, it looks like Arsenal will have to settle for third place this season. But, Asian handicap betting professionals will not be settling for anything less than a profit today as the season reaches its climax.
Third place would be an improvement from last year when Arsenal claimed their customary fourth spot but with Liverpool dropping out of Champions League contention, it is no surprise to see the Gunners edge up another place in the standings, even if it is more by default than anything else.
However, Arsene Wenger and his team will be desperate to avoid a second loss this week which, would see their hosts leap frog them into third place, even if it should only be for a few days until Arsenal play their game in hand. Finishing in fourth would surely be viewed as an abject failure after rumblings around North London of a late title charge by the Gunners, just a few weeks ago.
Manchester United on the other hand, are happy with fourth place after a season of baffling inconsistencies which, early on had some outsiders claiming not only that Louis Van Gaal did not know what he was doing but, also that David Moyes had been more successful than the Dutchman.
Ultimately, Van Gaal got to grips with his squad and tactics and the Red Devils began to perfect an aesthetically pleasing possession based style of play. Although not necessarily in keeping with the club’s tradition of high tempo attacking football, it was an impressive and winning brand of football nonetheless.
They have recently had trouble breaking down sides who set up with ten men behind the ball but that is something all the big clubs have to deal with sometimes and they are still very much a work in progress. Van Gaal’s summer spending is set to be significant again, as he looks to strengthen the team in a number of areas as they look to challenge for honours again next season.
United’s form had been excellent with six wins on the bounce until Chelsea, Everton and then West Brom all played with ten men behind the ball and all somehow managed to smash & grab their way to victory.
Last time out Crystal Palace played a more open and attacking game against them but came up short in the 2-1 defeat despite an excellent performance. This weekend Van Gaal and his players will be looking forward to facing an Arsenal side who should also play their natural attack minded game and this could mean the fans are in for a real treat on Sunday afternoon.
Arsenal’s form was even better than United’s, having won eight games in a row but with a draw against Chelsea and the loss to Swansea, the Gunners have picked up only four points from the last nine available.
Plus, their recent Premier League record at Old Trafford has been woeful with six defeats and a draw from the last seven visits to the Theatre of Dreams. They did manage a win at Old Trafford earlier this season when ex-United player Danny Welbeck, scored the winner against his old team in the FA Cup quarter-final.
Welbeck is a doubt for today’s match but Wenger has no new injury concerns for the trip to the North West and should play the same eleven which lost against Swansea. Manchester United have struggled with injury problems all season long and today is no different, Captain Wayne Rooney has not recovered from the knock he suffered last week and with Robin Van Persie still out, Radamel Falcao will start up front this week.
The Asian handicap betting line for the big match is currently set at 0 (DNB) but United’s price has been steadily drifting out and will probably continue to do so until kick off. Our Algorithm has indicated there is a decent amount of value in backing the home team this weekend.
Arsenal’s poor record at Old Trafford, indifferent recent form and their attacking style of play are all indicators that their hosts are worth a small investment today. Van Gaal will be keen to pressurise Wenger and his team for third place and at the same time put down a marker for next season.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Manchester United 0 (DNB) at 1.87
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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