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MAN UNITED V ARSENAL
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EVERTON, MAN UNITED AND SPURS ALL TO WIN AT 6/1
United have made an impressive response to the humiliating 6-1 defeat at home to Spurs. Newcastle were dismissed 4-1 at St. James’ Park, Champions League finalists PSG were beaten 2-1 in Paris, a solid effort at home to Chelsea resulted in a goalless stalemate, while they’ve followed that up with another clean sheet as they took down Leipzig 5-0. S
ubstitute and hat-trick hero Marcus Rashford now has a goal every 86 minutes across all competitions this season, while in the league alone he’s scored a joint-high nine goals against ‘Big Six’ sides since the start of last term alongside Danny Ings, though in just 12 appearances compared to the Saints striker’s 16.
It will be interesting to see if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reverts to the more familiar 4-2-3-1, or instead retains the midfield diamond he used midweek to such devastating effect.
It certainly brought the best out of Paul Pogba, who enjoyed far more success at Juventus on the left side of this formation, while it also allowed summer signing Donny van de Beek a look in.
Moreover, striking options Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Rashford all look more comfortable in a pair centrally rather than being shunted out wide or played alone through the middle.
The one apparent downside to the tactical switch is that with just two strikers, someone has to miss out, which will make it harder to integrate Edinson Cavani into the team as well.
However, Anthony Martial is still suspended, so we’d expect Solskjaer to continue with a solution that allows him to field key man Bruno Fernandes and record signing Paul Pogba in the same team, without compromising the defensive protection his limited centre-backs need.
Although things are starting to look up for the Red Devils, they need to get back on track domestically as they currently languish down in 15th place in the league, albeit with a game in hand.
However, Arsenal are in similar boat after damaging league defeats to Liverpool, Man City and Leicester have pushed them down into the bottom half of the table.
The days of Arsenal being absolute pushovers on the road to the top sides appear over under Mikel Arteta, though it remains a fact that the Gunners only picked up two points away to top-six sides last term, while they’ve already gone down at Anfield and the Etihad in the new campaign.
They haven’t won a league game at Old Trafford since September 2006, so it’s understandable that the hosts are favourites following recent performances against quality outfits.
Under 2.5 Goals
It should be noted that Man Utd’s five-goal haul midweek did flatter them somewhat, while Solskjaer’s men struggled to create chances against a Chelsea set up to be compact last weekend.
The evidence of Arsenal under Arteta suggests Utd can expect a similar type of game here, which encourages us to get behind a low-scoring encounter.
Indeed, the last three head to heads have all seen fewer than three goals. Further, Arsenal have seen a maximum of two goals in five of six matches up against top sides Liverpool, Leicester or Man City in all competitions this season.
Solskjaer won’t be bothered that fringe trio Eric Bailly, Jesse Lingard and Phil Jones are all injured, though Arteta will have to make do without Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Pablo Mari, David Luiz and Gabriel Martinelli.
That leaves a slight problem at centre-back, further encouraging us to swing behind Man Utd, though Arteta will have his team set up to prevent their defence being run at in any case.
Draw/Man Utd HT/FT
United may have to be patient to make a breakthrough here as they’re yet to lead at half-time in the Premier League this season.
In fact, of the 35 goals scored for either team across their nine matches in all competitions this season, 21 came during the second half, including 15 of their own 22 strikes.
Given each of Man Utd’s last three league wins have seen them level at the break, the half-time/full-time market is worth paying attention to here.
MAN UNITED V ARSENAL ODDS AVAILABLE HERE
ODDS ARE CORRECT AS OF 30/10/2020 HOWEVER ARE SUBJECT TO FLUCTUATIONS