Sports Betting Weekly

Manchester United v Arsenal

When: Tuesday, 10 March 2015 @ 00:45 (FINISHED)
Where: Old Trafford
Following their disastrous and unforeseen 3-1 Champions League hammering by Monaco at the Emirates ten days ago, retaining the F.A. Cup is probably Arsenal’s only realistic chance of silverware this season – and something that their manager, Arsene Wenger, may need to win in order to preserve his job security at the club.

Ultimately, finishing in the top four will be the primary aim for the North London outfit, but with the prospect of another season without a major trophy only likely to further anger the ever-growing section of fans currently rallying against the Frenchman, it is imperative for both Wenger and the Gunners that they rediscover the knack of winning in tournament football.

In order to do this, however, they are going to have to pass the unenviable test of winning at Manchester United’s Old Trafford – a venue they haven’t tasted victory at since Emmanuel Adebayor scored an 86th minute winner in a 1-0 win in 2006 – and understandably the bookies are rather cautious about their chances. The best you’ll get for an Arsenal win in Manchester is 9/4 – with a repeat scoreline from that day available at 10/1 – whereas the Red Devils can be backed here at 7/5.

With United scoring three or more goals in seven of their home wins in all competitions this season (including a 3-0 demolition of high-flying Liverpool) you can get Louis van Gaal’s men at 12/1 to win by three clear goals. Indeed, when you couple that stat with the fact they’ve scored 11 goals in their last four games at Old Trafford, it’s hard not to see the Red Devils finding the net at least once in this one.

Additionally, Arsenal have picked up just one point in the Premier League from three big away games against top-four rivals Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, so the omens initially don’t look great for the Gunners here. That being said, it wasn’t that long ago that Arsenal went to free-scoring Manchester City and performed admirably in an unexpected 2-0 victory at the Etihad, and that same outcome happening in the red half of Manchester is currently available at 17/1.

In the interests of balance, it’s perhaps also worth pointing out that while United have been picking up points and scoring goals, they are doing so in a very unconvincing manner and haven’t actually played a side expected to be challenging at the top end of the table since facing surprise package Southampton in January. If Arsenal can go to Manchester and play at their free-flowing best, it therefore certainly isn’t unfathomable that they could put a few goals past the Red Devils.

The bookies are less convinced about such an outcome, however, with odds of Arsenal winning by a two-goal margin available at 17/2, while you can get Arsenal to win by three or more at 33/2.

As far as goalscorers go, Wayne Rooney has found his shooting boots again and it’s hard to look past the England captain finding the net. You can get him at 11/2 to open the scoring or 7/4 to score anytime, while for the Gunners, Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez again looks good value at 15/2 to nudge the visitors ahead; and you can also get the former Barcelona man at 9/4 to score anytime.

With former Gunner Robin van Persie out for a month, the door has opened for Radamel Falcao to take his chance as Van Gaal’s leading striker – and with the Colombian eager to prove his critics wrong, the bookies fancy a performance from the 29-year-old and have him at 6/1 to score first. As a Manchester United academy graduate, it would also hardly be a surprise to see Danny Welbeck return to haunt his old club and you can 11/4 on him finding the net at any point during the match.