Manchester United host Arsenal this Sunday in what looks an intriguing encounter. Full credit must be given to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his squad over the last few weeks. Following a humiliating 6-1 defeat at home to Spurs, the Red Devils have gone W3-D1-L0. The standout performance of that run coming midweek in their 5-0 demolition of Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig.
United impressed throughout and the deployment of a midfield diamond worked a treat. Solskjaer’s men had several impressive performers and showed a strength in depth that seemed to be missing for the majority of last season.
Sunday 4.30pm: Manchester United v Arsenal
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While there are plenty of positives to take from their recent run, question marks remain over United’s ability to break down sides who do not give up counter-attacking opportunities and limit the space in behind. A perfect example of this was last weekend against a pragmatic Chelsea, United looked fairly limited in a lacklustre 0-0 draw.
While The Red Devils will be full of confidence, I’m not sure the same can be said for Arsenal. Mikel Arteta’s honeymoon period appears to be well and truly over after a home defeat to Leicester last time out in the league. While he has undoubtedly improved Arsenal defensively and in the way the set up tactically, there are major concerns over the lack of creativity shown thus far in the league.
Arteta’s men find themselves ranking very lowly in some key offensive metrics compared to the rest of the league – most notably Shots Per Game (17th) and Shots on Target Per Game (12th). With all of this in mind, I don’t expect many goals here and Under 2.5 Goals looks a smart bet.
Historically, this fixture has had plenty of needle. While we are a long way away from the days of Roy Keane and Patrick Viera, this fixture still has a bit of spite to it. Mike Dean takes the whistle for this one and while he has been a little less card happy compared to recent years – just 2.5 cards per game so far this season – I expect to see at least a couple of cards in this one.
One player who jumps out at a nice price is Thomas Partey. The newest Arsenal signing is still finding his feet in this side but is expected to start in this one. He will be tasked with keeping star man Bruno Fernandes quiet and I expect to see Partey getting stuck in from the first whistle. In 8 club games this season, for both Atletico Madrid & Arsenal, he has picked up 5 Yellow Cards so we’re backing Partey To Be Booked and take that tally to six.
While I can see this one playing out just like the Chelsea game last week, I think United will have learned their lessons from that draw. Added to this Utd are riding a wave of confidence and in Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford they have two real match winners in fine form. United should get the job done and Win… just about.
Tips for Man Utd v Arsenal
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