Arsenal take a trip to Manchester before a vital Europa League fixture

Last updated: April 27, 2018 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Sunday, 16:30
Venue: Old Trafford
Coverage: Sky Sports
Home Team Form: WWWLW
Away Team Form: WWWLW
Last Meeting: Arsenal 1 – 3 Man United
Competition: Premier League

After a week of European football, in which only one of the two teams featuring here took part, Sunday sees one of football’s great rivalries play out before our eyes. Manchester United, assured of a top four finish and Champions League football next season, face Arsenal, whose hunt for a new manager is underway and whose Champions League dreams for next season hang by a thread.

Early exit from the Champions League and a title race that seemed over by the half-way point means that this season will be something of a disappointment for Manchester United. But, with an FA Cup final to look forward to, a second place finish looking likely, and a good current run of form, fans shouldn’t be too discontented. Aside from a shock defeat to West Brom a few weeks back, United have had some fine recent results. Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea, United’s FA Cup final opponents, have all fallen victim to Mourinho’s men since February, in a run of six wins in seven league games. As Mourinho rightly pointed out in a recent press conference, failings this season have not been down to performances against top opponents, rather, as evidenced by defeat to all but relegated West Brom, inconsistent performances against lower opponents has cost United. Looking ahead to this game and United are clear favourites. Mourinho has a full strength squad to choose from, while his counter part Wenger must tackle with injuries, fatigue and horrendous away form in the league this season.

Arsenal could be going into this one full of confidence after a semi-final first leg win over Athletico Madrid. However, despite a man advantage for almost 80 minutes of the game, Arsenal, in typical fashion, conceded a late away goal to draw the match and put their hopes of reaching the final in peril. Arsenal still have every chance, but it will demand an accomplished performance next week. Wenger will almost certainly be focusing more on that match next week then and that could mean rotation for this match. A number of injuries leaves his options somewhat limited, but one man who will surely start is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The striker already has six league goals in an Arsenal shirt and will likely replace Andre Lacazette, as the French striker is rested in preparation of next week’s Europa League match. The Gunner’s away form is what has killed their chances of a top four finish this season and with a potentially weakened squad, it would seem unlikely they will add to their measly three away league victories.

Team News

After suffering a number of injuries this season, Mourinho has a fully fit squad to choose from.

Alexis Sánchez scored in the FA Cup victory last weekend and should be in line to return to the team and face his old club here.

Wenger has a lot more injuries to contend with. Mesut Özil featured on Thursday, but there are many other injuries in the Arsenal midfield.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang didn’t start last weekend as Wenger looked to play his Europa League starting team. He should return to the starting lineup.

Expected Line-Ups:

Man Utd (4-2-3-1): De Gea, A Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Young, Herrera, Matic, Pogba, Lingard, Lukaku, Sánchez
Subs: Lindelöf, Mata, Martial, Rashford, Fellaini, Darmian, Pereira
Not available:
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Ramsey, Özil, Aubameyang, Welbeck, Maitland Niles
Subs: Mertesacker, Lacazette, Holding, Chambers, Wilshere, Macey, Nelson
Injured: Mkhitaryan, El Neny, Cazorla
Doubtful: Cech
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Man Utd So Far This Season Arsenal So Far This Season
2nd League Position 6th
13 (10) Wins (away) 14 (3)
4 – 0 vs. Swansea Biggest Win 5 – 1 vs. Everton
2 (3) Draws (away) 2 (4)
0 – 2 vs Tottenham Biggest Defeat 0 – 4 vs Liverpool
Romelu Lukaku (16) Top Goal Scorer Andre Lacazette (13)
Y61, R1 Discipline Y52, R1
6 Failures to Score 6
17 Clean Sheets 11
37% Both Teams to Score Games 54%
51% Over 2.5 Goals 65%
35% Under 2.5 Goals 45%
  • Manchester United’s 17 clean sheets is the best record in the league, although Arsenal have failed to score in just six league matches.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang already has six goals in his eight Arsenal starts. With Lacazette likely to be rested, Aubameyang should have the chance to add more to his Arsenal tally.
  • Arsenal have kept just three clean sheets in away matches this year, while Manchester United have only failed to score at least one goal in a home game twice in the league.
  • The Gunners away form has cost them big this year. Just three away wins, compared to fourteen at home, doesn’t bode well for their chances here.

Head to Head

Last Five Competitive Meetings Between The Sides
Date Game Result Round First Goal-scorer
02/12/2017 Arsenal 1 – 3 Man Utd Premier League Valencia 4′
07/05/2017 Arsenal 2 – 0 Man Utd Premier League Xhaka 54′
19/11/2016 Man Utd 1 – 1 Arsenal Premier League Mata 68′
28/02/2016 Man Utd 3 – 2 Arsenal Premier League Rashford 29′
04/10/2015 Arsenal 3 – 0 Man Utd Premier League Sánchez 6′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Looking at the stats for this season leads us to just one conclusion here. Arsenal have been notoriously poor away from home this season, while United have been strong at home, dropping points in just four of seventeen home league games so far.

We fancy United to win then, but there’s not too much value in that, with the bookies offering around 2/5. United aren’t exactly prolific scorers and this rivalry usually ensures things stay tight, so you could combine this with under 2.5 goals, which you can get at William Hill.