With Sunday’s North London Derby victory still fresh, Arsenal hits the road to face another old foe in Manchester United on Wednesday. It was an impressive display by the Gunners as they pummeled Tottenham 4-2 in front of their home fans and they’ll look to extend their unbeaten streak to 20 games in all competitions when they hit the turf at Old Trafford.
Online sportsbook [custom:bovada-link] is offering United as moneyline faves at +140 with Arsenal +200 and the draw at +250. The total is at 3.0 with OVER at EVEN money and UNDER coming back at -120. Spread markets have this at a pick with United -130 and Arsenal +110.
I recommended betting Arsenal in my preview for that game but their performance exceeded my expectations. And I say this as a Tottenham fan while wiping tears off my keyboard. Can Jose Mourinho and Man United stop the buzzsaw that is Unai Emery’s Arsenal?
Let’s dig into this matchup and try to identify the best bet.
Gunners Can’t Be Stopped Right Now
With the 4-2 win over North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, Arsenal extended its unbeaten run to a whopping 19 games in all competitions and 12 in the Premier League. They’ve now won back-to-back league games against some decent competition (at Bournemouth, vs Spurs) and will look to make the Red Devils the third.
Arsenal’s only defeat away from home this season was a 3-2 loss to Chelsea. Since then, the Gunners have nabbed 13 points from five matches, including wins at tough locations like Newcastle and Bournemouth.
The rest of December will be a tough slog for Arsenal as it has six league games remaining in the month with four of those coming away from the Emirates. It all starts at Old Trafford on Wednesday and a full three points would be a great way to keep the congested schedule rolling.
Plenty of Goals on Arsenal Away Days
With its high-octane attack and a defense that is still leaky, you shouldn’t be shocked to know that there have been a ton of goals scored when Arsenal takes to the road. In six away matches thus far, there have been 26 goals scored combined between the Gunners and their hosts.
Arsenal has scored 16 goals in six games. That is the second-most in the league and considering Tottenham has scored the most (17) in three more games, it’s an even more impressive number.
Of those six away matches, four of them have eclipsed the posted total of 3.0 on this Manchester United clash while the other resulted in a PUSH.
United, while seventh, owns a negative goal differential (-1) and has conceded the sixth-most goals in the league (23) for a very un-Mourinho-like start to the campaign.
No Place Like Home
This is a long-standing rivalry that probably peaked in the early 2000s when Arsene Wenger, Sir Alex Ferguson, Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane were at the height of their powers. Still, these are two of the titans of the sport and the intrigue has never been lost.
That said, this has been a really one-sided affair at Old Trafford in recent seasons. In the previous 11 league meetings in Manchester, the Red Devils have won eight and drawn three. Yes, Man United has nabbed points from each of the last 11 at Old Trafford.
Arsenal’s last league victory at Old Trafford came on September 17 in 2006. It was a 1-0 win and the goalscorer that day? You guessed it: Emmanuel Adebayor.
Last year’s meeting at Old Trafford produced a 2-1 win for United with goals coming from Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan before Marouane Fellaini struck in the dying embers of the game to lock up the three points for Mourinho.
Much of this hinges on starting lineups for the midweek fixture. Arsenal rested its first team in Thursday’s Europa League game and gets to play Huddersfield on the weekend, so you’d figure they’ll roll out something resembling the XI they put out against Spurs.
United played a 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace on the 24th, then eked out a 1-0 win against Young Boys in Champions League before slogging to a 2-2 draw against Southampton. Will we see their best? Well, if the injury list is to be believed, probably not. Bear with me here: Alexis Sanchez, Ashley Young and Victor Lindelof all look set to miss out while Rojo, Darmian, Smalling, Lukaku, Rashford, Shaw, Valencia, Bailly and Phil Jones are listed as doubts. Yikes.
As I sit here on a Tuesday morning, my gut tells me to just keep rolling with Arsenal and at 2/1 in moneyline markets, the value is pretty solid for a team that hasn’t lost in 19. If you aren’t sold, try the Arsenal/Draw double chance with the evaporated betting value of -185.
Either way, the way Arsenal is playing, sit back and enjoy the show.
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