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We wouldn’t get too carried away with Arsenal’s 3-1 victory over Southampton in midweek given Ralph Hasenhuttl was without either of his two first-choice full-backs, while key centre back Jannik Vestergaard also remained on the sidelines.
Nonetheless, that victory saw the Gunners win three league trips for the first time since October 2018, and they look to be oozing with confidence.
Man Utd looked to let their derby victory over Liverpool in the FA Cup get the better of them, as they came crashing back down with a defeat hosting rock bottom Sheffield Utd. To give some perspective on that result, it was the Blades’ first away win in the league for 361 days.
You imagine Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will opt to bring Fred, Scott McTominay, Luke Shaw, Edinson Cavani and a new centre back partner for Harry Maguire into the starting team for this trip to the Emirates Stadium though, and that should improve them.
The hosts have now won five of their last six unbeaten outings and welcoming back their captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the camp should give them a boost too.
For all the hosts’ struggles against the best teams, they have gone a respectable W6-D1-L1 from their eight outings here against the ‘Big Six’ since December 2018, while they also beat both Man City and Chelsea at Wembley last term to lift the FA Cup.
However, they did concede in five of the most recent six when hosting those top teams, and given the attacking talent at Solskjaer’s disposal, it’s hard to imagine Arsenal keeping a clean sheet.
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Both Teams To Score
The head-to-heads suggest this will be a low scoring affair, as all four league meetings since 2019 have seen fewer than three goals, and that may well be the case again, but we can’t help but think both teams will get on the scoresheet.
It goes without saying United’s impressive away form, going W12-D2-L2 from their 16 trips, but there is a slight question mark over the difficulty of the majority of those trips, although they did still net in 15 of those, and they should still add to that goalscoring run.
Arteta’s men on the other hand, have seen a serious upturn in their goalscoring form. 14 goals from their last six league outings is a massive step in the right direction when compared to just four goals from their previous 10 encounters, and although Emile Smith Rowe could be a doubt for this one, the arrival of Martin Odegaard should keep the creative juices flowing.
Arsenal Draw No Bet
A lot of Arsenal’s hope will be riding on the fitness of Thomas Partey in midfield for this one, who put on an excellent display in the reverse fixture back in November.
Should he start, we’d very much have to side with the hosts to get another win over the Red Devils, with them winning three of four unbeaten meetings since the start of 2019.
Furthermore, Man Utd are yet to beat any of the ‘Big Six’ or Leicester so far this term, and with them as favourites, we have to take them on in one way or another.