Manchester United v Arsenal: Close contest between depleted teams
There is certainly no love lost between Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger. The two Premier League bosses have clashed on numerous occasions and the Special One branded the Gunners boss a “specialist in failure” back in February 2014. Now they meet at Old Trafford for the first time.
There isn’t much between the sides in the betting for this weekend’s clash. United are Betway’s 6/4 (2.50) favourites with Arsenal the slight outsiders at 19/10 (2.90). Due to some erratic form it’s tricky to make a convincing case for either team at the current prices.
Neither have been at their best in recent weeks and coming off the back of an international break there are bound to be some doubts about players who have represented their country. This is a particular issue for those who arrived late back from South America like Alexis Sanchez, having represented Chile twice in World Cup qualifying in the last week.
In cases such as this one the draw looks the best option for those seeking a wager for the outright result, it’s a 9/4 (3.25) chance with Betway and that looks very fair. The hosts are missing Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Antonio Valencia so their defensive line does look a little fragile but Mourinho is often happy to settle for taking the sting out of the game without being too ambitious.
The Gunners have an abysmal record at Old Trafford so United may feel that they’re in the driving seat for this game but the loss of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to suspension plus the ongoing Wayne Rooney saga means their attacking prospects look particularly diminished.
The England captain was photographed out celebrating the Three Lions’ win over Scotland last weekend and while players are entitled to enjoy their success and the media are often very quick to criticise any supposed wrongdoing, the 31-year-old’s decision looks somewhat short-sighted considering there was a training session the following day and he is a position of responsibility.
Rooney may well sit out this game due to a slight knock which means Marcus Rashford could lead the line. The promising youngster is an 11/2 (6.50) chance to break the deadlock and 6/4 (2.50) to net anytime but there is as big as 9/4 (3.25) out there for those who want to back the 19-year-old.
Both teams have scored in four of the last five meetings between these two teams in all competitions and with that in mind, punters hungry for goals may be tempted by the quote of 8/11 (1.73) on neither side keeping a clean sheet.
Those searching for bigger returns could do worse than consider a correct score wager on 1-1 at 19/4 (5.75) with Betway. This bet landed in the Old Trafford meeting in 2015 and with the match being the first of the Premier League coupon, it could be something of a slow burner as opposed to a goal-fest, especially considering the absentee list for the hosts.