Man United v Arsenal
Sunday 1 November, 16:30
Live on Sky Sports
European form a delight for United
Manchester United continued their impressive European form during the week as they thumped Bundesliga leaders, RB Leipzig, by five goals to nil. That came on the back of their surprise 2-1 success at PSG.
Domestic results – and performances – have been patchy though, and Ole Gunnar Solskjær will be hoping to string a few wins together in the Premier League. They did beat Brighton and Newcastle, but the 1-6 loss to Spurs was sandwiched in-between, and they could only draw 0-0 with Chelsea most recently.
As for the team news, Alex Telles, will miss the match due to a positive coronavirus test, so he joints Anthony Martial, Eric Bailly and Jesse Lingard who are all also unavailable for Sunday.
Solskjær has been tinkering with his team from game to game, so it is difficult to predict what he will do, but Marcus Rashford will definitely be back in the starting XI after scoring a hat-trick from the bench against Leipzig.
Gunners need to step it up
It took Arsenal 42 minutes to score against Dundalk on Thursday, but after 46 minutes it was 3-0, and the game was over. It was their second Europa League in a row, but they head to Old Trafford on the back of two Premier League defeats.
A 1-0 loss to Man City at the Etihad can be forgiven, but they were then beaten by the same scoreline at home to Leicester, and that brought up the Gunners’ third defeat of the campaign.
Mikel Arteta has injuries at the back to worry about ahead of this game, as David Luiz is a big doubt after coming off early against the Foxes. Rob Holding is also out, so Shkodran Mustafi looks like the most likely replacement.
Further up the pitch, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Willian will probably flank Alexandre Lacazette, as Nicolas Pepe looks set to miss out.
The hosts are a very similar price to what they were to beat Leipzig on Wednesday, and we all know how that turned out. Results aside, I would have the Germans down as marginally better than Arsenal, so given the emphatic nature of United’s win, I am quite surprised that they are available to back at 11/102.12 on the Betfair Exchange.
It doesn’t escape me that United are yet to win in the league at Old Trafford this term – lost two and drawn one – but that kind of run won’t last forever, and confidence levels will be high.
Every time that Arsenal have come up against one of the better teams this season, they have been beaten. Victories over Fulham, West Ham and Sheffield United are all well and good, but they have been beaten by Liverpool, Man City and Leicester.
Arteta is clearly improving the team, but these things don’t happen overnight, and I have no interest in backing them at 11/43.75.
Even the draw at 11/43.7 doesn’t appeal, and one of the main reasons for that is their best player, Aubameyang, has been out-of-form since he signed his new contract.
The Betfair layers are expecting goals at Old Trafford, with Over 2.5 trading at around the 4/51.81 mark, and the Under being available to back at 6/52.22.
I am actually leaning towards the bigger of the two prices, as I can see it being quite tight – with United coming out on top in the end.
Arsenal have failed to find the net in their last two league matches, and United’s last league game here finished 0-0.
My two selections so far – United win and Under 2.5 Goals – plus Marcus Rashford to score anytime, and United to have most corners, is coming in at 31.49 as a Same Game Multi on the Sportsbook, and that has got to be worth a small wager – especially with the current Betfair promotion (see more details below).
Key Opta Stat
Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 13 home league games against Arsenal (W8 D5) since a 0-1 loss in September 2006.