Manchester United play host to longtime bitter rivals Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday evening with both teams looking to pull themselves out of the depths of the lower half of the Premier League table.
Manchester United’s excellent record in the Champions League continued in midweek as they put five unanswered goals past a hapless RB Leipzig side at Old Trafford barely a week after a dazzling 2-1 Win away at PSG in their opening group game to take full control of the group.
It has not been as rosy in the Premier League. They have struggled to hit the right gear with just a couple of wins, two terrible losses and the dour goalless draw in their last match against Chelsea.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been struggling to put out a consistent starting lineup. This is a critical game in the bigger scheme of things and he will certainly have his work cut out as he prepares for it.
There has been an air of optimism about Arsenal turning the corner under Mikel Arteta. They finished last season strongly, winning the FA Cup after beating notable names along the way. They also began this season by winning the Charity Shield after a penalty shootout against a largely understrength Liverpool team.
Having said that, their record so far in the Premier League this season shows a trend many Arsenal fans are very familiar with. They have 3 wins and 3 losses – the three wins coming against lower-ranked teams and the three losses coming against top teams, Liverpool, Man City and Leicester.
Arteta will be looking to improve upon last season’s performance against the top six sides and a good outing at Old Trafford this weekend will have to be the starting point if they are to achieve that goal.
Despite these teams falling from glory in recent years, this fixture still has a lot of oomph and fire like the good old days. Mikel Arteta and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer have laced the boots and participated in previous battles and they, therefore, understand what it means when these clubs go toe-to-toe. With both teams languishing in the bottom half of the table, this fixture has taken up a huge significance and they will both be gunning for a win here. We expect a tight clash, physical encounter. We fancy Over 4.5 bookings here @ 1.73 as our initial betting prediction.
If there is one area that Arsenal has made a marked improvement on, it is on the defensive end. Although they’ve lost back-to-back games, both were by 1-0 scorelines. Gabriel has been a good addition to that backline and he brings some stability they’ve not had in a long time. United have also improved defensively, particularly after the 6-1 drubbing by Tottenham, conceding just a couple of goals in the subsequent four matches. With both teams needing a turnaround, it is more likely to that they will try and keep things neat and tidy than throwing caution to the wins. We are therefore going for Under 3.5 goals here @ 1.43 with Betway betting app as our final call.
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