Man Utd v Arsenal – Old Trafford at 14:05 live on Sky Sports 1
Manchester United welcome Arsenal to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon and with both teams needing the three points, I’m expecting a thrilling encounter and some goals as well.
Man Utd’s 3-0 win over Shrewsbury on Monday night put them into the quarter final of the FA Cup, where they will face West Ham. They also progressed to the last 16 of the Europa League, thanks to debutant Marcus Radford’s brace against FC Midtjylland, to set up a mouthwatering tie against Liverpool.
Despite going well in the cup competitions, the league and a top 4 finish will be Louis Van Gaal’s top priority. They are currently in 5th place, 6 points behind rivals Man City in 4th. A win today would see the Red Devils close the gap to 3 points with the Citizens facing Liverpool in the League Cup final this weekend.
A win might be a difficult task for LVG however, having won just 3 of their last 13 league matches, losing 5, drawing 5.
Their record at Old Trafford isn’t too good either with just 2 wins from their last 6 in the BPL on home soil.
The reverse of this fixture won’t help their confidence either as Arsenal ran out 3-0 winners after a scintillating opening 20 minutes in which the Gunners ripped open the Utd defence, scoring three times and ending the game before half time.
Utd will take confidence from their home record against Arsenal though, having not been defeated at Old Trafford in the league since 2006. Despite their record against the Gunners, Utd head into this match as underdogs at 3.28.
Arsenal aren’t at their best at the moment however, with familiar scenes in North London on Tuesday night as they lost 2-0 to Barcelona in the Champions League, with a performance that Wenger described as naive.
They were also held to a 0-0 draw by Championship side Hull last Saturday in the FA Cup and could have really done without the replay. They now have 5 games in 14 days.
In the Premier League, after going 4 games without a win, they defeated Bournemouth and league leaders Leicester last time out in a morale boosting victory. They needed every second against the 10-man Foxes, with Danny Welbeck netting a last minute winner.
That put the Gunners 2 points off top spot, but with Leicester, Spurs and Man City all in contention with 12 games to go, this is a match Arsenal need to win.
Despite their patchy form, which includes just 2 away league wins in 7, I think the Gunners are the value bet on the Asian Handicap betting market.
Utd will be without some key players and others which are currently carrying knocks. Arsenal showed their class against Utd back in October and although I think this will be a tighter affair, Arsenal can come out on top.
Both defences have their weaknesses so I’m expecting goals. Six of their last 10 meetings have seen 3 goals or more, including three of their last four head to heads.
Half of Utd’s last 10 matches at Old Trafford and 7 of Arsenal’s last 13 road games all covered Over 2.5 goals, making the 2.39 available on that market great value.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Arsenal -0.25 at 2.05 & Over 2.5 goals at 2.35
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