One of England’s most famous footballing rivalries will resume Saturday afternoon as Arsenal host Manchester United in north London at the Emirates Stadium.
For all of the recent Manchester United hype of late, that certainly washed away quickly as the Red Devils fell to last-place Sheffield United at home on Wednesday. Firmly entrenched in a title race with their cross-town rivals, Man U know that they’ll need to quickly right this ship in order to maintain their place as viable contenders.
For Arsenal, it was a bit of a bumpy lead-in to the new year, but 2021 has brought the Gunners and manager Mikel Arteta some new fortune. They’re currently on a six-match unbeaten run, with their youth and finishing ability finally starting to pay dividends.
When these clubs last met in November, Arsenal did manage to escape Old Trafford with a narrow 1-0 victory. As the Gunners continue their push up the table, can they pull off yet another impressive result? Or will a hungry United be eager to avenge their embarrassing mid-week showing vs. Sheffield United? For added detail, analysis, and team news – continue reading on beneath the posted odds for our take and betting prediction on this famous rivalry match-up.
Arsenal vs. Manchester United Betting Odds:
Manchester United (+155)
Manchester United PK (-120)
Arsenal PK (+100)
Over 2.5 (-120)
Under 2.5 (+100)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Arsenal vs. Manchester United Pick:
While the Gunners enter Saturday’s massive clash in unbelievable form compared to where they were as a club earlier in the season, manager Mikel Arteta will still be without their best scorer and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. That’s tough news for the Gunners against a Manchester United side that have shown weaknesses on the defensive side of things.
Replacing him will be a collection of speed, skill, and youth, and ultimately the reason for Arsenal’s resurgence of late. Emile Smith-Rowe is dynamic in the midfield, while Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe add real attacking flair and skill from the flanks. The pace at which the Gunners can move and pass the ball will be problematic for any side going forward.
That said, Man United boasts likely the best attack right now in the Premier League. The problem is they’ve been inconsistent. But coming off of a tough loss to Sheffield United has this group hungrier than ever, knowing they need to start stringing victories together if they want to put a more serious claim on their title candidacy.
Man United will counter with an attack-minded 4-2-3-1 formation, and really have a go offensively at the weak Arsenal defensive lineup. Bruno Fernandes will play in an attacking midfield role, playing just behind the prolific Uruguayan Edinson Cavani. Look for the rapid Marcus Rashford to move out wide, and that is a trio that should be able to find the back of the net on Saturday.
One area the Red Devils have been weak all season in has been the play of their defenders, and overall team defense. They’ve been careless at times, especially on set-pieces – and we saw evidence of that mid-week against the Blades. If they want to win the league, they’ll need to tighten up in many areas. Arsenal will present real challenges.
Expect a fast match with all kinds of speed taking the pitch Saturday afternoon. Both teams continue to fight for European positioning, and though money-line prices on both sides are very juicy, the better value lies in the total. With all of the attacking talent and positive tactics that we should see in this match, look for the Over 2.5 to come through easily, with both teams finding the back of the net as well. Given the forms of both back-lines, it’s tough to see either club keeping a clean sheet in this one. Back goals at the Emirates on Saturday.