Sports Betting Weekly

Manchester United v Arsenal

When: Sunday, 17 May 2015 @ 22:00 (FINISHED)
Where: Old Trafford
With Champions League football now all-but secured for both of these sides, Manchester United’s final home clash of the season against Arsenal may no longer have anything riding on it – but don’t think for a second that means it won’t be another blood and thunder encounter at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils will, of course, be out for revenge having lost to the Gunners in the quarter-finals of the F.A. Cup, and they also still harbour slim hopes of finishing above Arsene Wenger’s men in the league – hopes that will all but evaporate should they take anything less than three points here.

Obviously, a top four finish for Louis van Gaal’s men was the primary objective this season, but they’ll want to end the campaign on a high in their last game in front of the home fans, and who better to do it against than an Arsenal side who are still vying to overhaul Manchester City and finish the season as runners-up – a result which would be their best Premier League finish in a decade.

Despite the Gunners being the league’s form side since their 2-1 defeat to Tottenham back in February and United having won just once in their last four fixtures, it is the Red Devils who go into this tie as favourites at 6/4, with the visitors viewed as underdogs at 39/20 – but perhaps this is not so surprising given that prior to their F.A. Cup win, Arsenal had not beaten United in seven attempts.

That being said, there is a different feel about Arsenal going into the final stretch of the season, with the Gunners showing far more backbone than they have done in recent years – and odds-against prices on a side that had gone 10 league games without losing prior to their defeat to Swansea in midweek are always likely to raise an eyebrow. Furthermore, with a point being enough to keep them in the driving seat in their bid to end the season above United, odds of 5/2 on it ending honours even at Old Trafford may offer even more value.

With six of the last eight meetings between the two teams resulting in goals for either side, backing both teams to score here looks a safe bet at 4/6, while coupling that likelihood with a draw will get you superior odds of 9/2. If you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of leeway, meanwhile, a 1-1 draw between the two teams is the bookies’ favoured result at 6/1, ranking some way ahead of a 1-0 home win at 9/1 or a 2-1 victory for the Gunners, which is deemed the most likely away win at 10/1.

Having recovered from something of a drought in the second half of the season, Arsenal newcomer Alexis Sanchez bounced back with a brace against Hull in the Gunners’ last away game and is well positioned in the first scorer charts at odds of 13/2 – the same price available on striker, Olivier Giroud. For United, meanwhile, Robin van Persie is rated at 6/1 to score against his former club, but given the Dutchman has seemingly fallen out of favour in recent weeks, backing Juan Mata – who took penalty duties off of Wayne Rooney against Crystal Palace – may be your best bet at 9/1.