Manchester United v Arsenal Betting Preview
Back Manchester United and Arsenal to play out a draw this weekend
Two excellent results in the space of three days, albeit against weak opposition, have certainly lifted some of the pressure off Louis van Gaal’s shoulders. But this Premier League tie against Arsenal is their third consecutive must-win game, especially if they want to keep their dream of a top-four finish alive. The Red Devils currently sit fifth in the league table on 41 points, six behind local rivals Manchester City, but their thumping 5-1 win over FC Midtjylland on Thursday night will certainly give them confidence of getting a result from this one.
Despite their poor home form this season, United have lost only one of their last six games in all competitions at Old Trafford. They’ve also scored in their last five, finding the net 11 times in total. But with only four wins in their last eight in all competitions, van Gaal will be wary of the fact that his side are far from guaranteed to claim all three points on Sunday night, especially with Arsenal now well and truly back in the title race. With a place in the last-16 of the Europa League and an FA Cup quarter-final tie against West Ham to come, United still have a chance, mathematically, of winning three trophies this season, but this is a must-win game in order to keep their faintest of title hopes alive.
Despite reinstating themselves in the title race after a last-gasp win over Leicester City in their last league meeting, Arsenal’s form has been far from spectacular of late. Arsene Wenger’s men have only claimed three wins in their last nine games in all competitions, and a 0-0 draw with Hull in the FA Cup followed by a 2-0 Champions League defeat to Barcelona means that Arsenal could be heading out of two major cup competitions within the next few weeks, so a victory against Manchester United is essential.
Whereas United have netted 11 in their last five games, Arsenal have managed just four in the same number of outings, and their poor form in front of goal could prove costly against the side with the third-best defensive record in the Premier League. On the up side, Arsenal have only lost one game away from home since November 21, and the travelling Gunners fans will know full well how it feels to win at Old Trafford after former United player Danny Welbeck helped Arsenal to a 2-1 win at Old Trafford in the FA Cup last season.
I’m predicting a draw between these two sides on Sunday.
Arsenal are unbeaten in their last three meetings with Manchester United, and strolled to a comfortable 3-0 win at the Emirates back in October. However, the Gunners haven’t won at Old Trafford in the league since 2006, and have conceded 18 goals in nine meetings in Manchester since that win. United have won six of the last seven at home in the league and will be hopeful of continuing that record on Sunday.
To score – Danny Welbeck 11/5
The former United man knows all too well how it feels to take to the Old Trafford pitch, and already has a goal to his name in an Arsenal shirt against the Red Devils. The England forward scored the late winner against Leicester a fortnight ago after nine months out injured, and I recommend backing him to score at any time with odds of 11/5.
Both teams to score – Yes 19/20
The two sides have played out a number of closely-fought encounters in recent years, and have both found the net in seven of the last ten meetings in all competitions. I’m backing both sides to score on Sunday, priced at 19/20.
Match odds – Draw 9/4
Both sides have an objective to play for, and they’ll both be going all-out to win the game. I think the draw has the most favourable odds, and you can back United and Arsenal to share the spoils on Sunday with odds of 9/4. United will have confidence after their 5-1 midweek win, so a win may well be on the cards for van Gaal’s men, priced at 9/4. If Arsenal were to snatch a win, it would be three crucial points in the bag as they go in search of their first league title in 13 years, and with that motivation it’s more than possible for them to find a win on Sunday. You can get back odds of 29/20 for Wenger’s men to claim all three points.
Writer’s prediction: Manchester United 1 – 1 Arsenal
*Odds correct at the time of publication, click here for all the latest odds on upcoming football matches.