Arsenal vs Manchester United: Analysis, Predictions, and Bets
Following another set of eventful games in the Premier League, attention will now turn towards the FA Cup 4th Round. On Friday, Manchester United will be travelling to the Emirates to take on Arsenal in what looks on paper to be a mouthwatering game. Current Form Arsenal Arsenal were drawn to play away from home against Blackpool in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup. This turned out to be a relatively easy affair with the final score being Blackpool 0 - 3 Arsenal. Joe Willock found the net twice with Alex Iwobi adding to the tally late in the game to put Arsenal through to the next round. However, Arsenal have been going through a bit of a rough patch recently and have allowed Manchester United to catch up to them on points in the Premier League. Over the previous 5 fixtures, Arsenal have won 2, lost 2, and drawn 1. Statistically, Arsenal have been both impressive and uninspiring in different areas of the pitch this season. In the Premier League, the team has scored 48 times, an average of 2.09 goals per game. This is a really good goal return but Arsenal are struggling at the other end of the pitch having conceded 32 times, an average of 1.39 goals per game. This isn't good enough for a team that wants to cement itself as one of the best in England. Manchester United Manchester United were awarded a home fixture against Reading in the previous round of the FA Cup. A converted penalty from Juan Mata and the 2nd goal from Lukaku just before half-time were enough to put Manchester United through to face off against Arsenal. Since Solskjær was given the role as boss, the team have won every single game and have given themselves a fighting chance of finishing within the top 4 this season. Looking back at where they were a couple of months ago, that would be a really impressive achievement. Over the previous 5 fixtures, Manchester United have won all 5. Statistically, Manchester United have been fairly good in the attacking department so far in the Premier League season. They've scored a total of 46 times, an average of 1.92 goals per game. However, this team has struggled at the back at times and have conceded 33 times, an average of 1.38 goals per game. This average has been reducing on a weekly basis since Solskjær took over, however. Head to Head In the previous 10 meetings between the clubs, Arsenal won 3, Manchester United won 4, and there were 3 draws. Even with Manchester United's recent struggles, however, Arsenal have failed to record a win against them in the previous 3 games. Analysis Arsenal This is a tricky fixture for Arsenal for a number of reasons, but Emery has a lot to think about before this game. Having been knocked out of the League Cup and way behind in the Premier League title race, Arsenal are running out of ways to bring silverware back to the Emirates this season. The Europa League is an opportunity to do so, but the FA Cup is a trophy this Arsenal team should be looking to win. The issue, however, is that Arsenal have let things slide in the Premier League recently and are now facing a major battle to qualify for the Champions League next season. With that in mind, Emery must decide whether to rest players for the Premier League campaign and face defeat at the hands of Manchester United here or to go for it and risk fatigue and injuries to his first team. With Hector Bellerin facing a lengthy period of time on the sidelines following an awful injury during the game against Chelsea at the weekend, Arsenal know they'll be in for a tough night should Manchester United turn up looking to continue their great run of form. However, this Arsenal team showed against Chelsea that they're ready to put in a fight to get the results they want and they certainly have players in their team who can do some damage to Manchester United. Although Solskjær's team are looking much better than they did with Mourinho in charge, there is a feeling that their defensive line is still a weak link that can be exploited. With the likes of Aubameyang and Lacazette in Arsenal's attacking line, there is an opportunity for the team to get in behind and test de Gea. The strategy here is likely to be to try to control possession in midfield in order to keep Manchester United on the back foot and then to play creative passes through the lines to feed the front two. Arsenal will need to be careful at the back, however, because Manchester United have been looking strong in attack recently and could punish them with counter-attacks. Manchester United Manchester United are in a wonderful run of form at the moment and have given themselves a chance to finish this season well. Like Emery, however, Solskjær will need to decide whether or not to rest players here in favour of the upcoming Premier League games. This is probably less likely for Manchester United as their success this season may depend on the team continuing to run on the confidence they've managed to build over the last few weeks. Should they suffer a loss against Arsenal then doubts may once again start to creep into the minds of the support base. Although Arsenal played well against Chelsea in their previous game, they have shown many times this season that they can be vulnerable if things don't go their way. With this in mind, Manchester United should look to attack them from the first whistle and play fast-paced, creative passes between the lines. Arsenal's left-hand side may be a place to exploit with Bellerin out of action and the likes of Rashford or Lingard could have some success in breaking through the defensive line in this area. Pogba's performance, should he be picked to start, will likely have a major influence on the outcome of this game. At his best, he is the kind of player that can turn a game on its head and pop up with a moment of brilliance. On an off day, however, Pogba has often gone somewhat missing and this is something Manchester United cannot afford to happen in this game. Predictions Arsenal's result against Chelsea on Saturday may be the boost the team has needed to go start a good run of form over the next couple of months. However, Manchester United are currently in the middle of theirs and will be looking for an opportunity to win some silverware to rescue a pretty poor season. This is the kind of game that could go either way but I am expecting there to be a lot of goals. Prediction: Manchester United win Score Prediction: Arsenal 2 - 3 Manchester United Betting Picks The FA Cup games are not currently featured at Scorum Bet but I will be taking a look at the over 2.5 and over 3.5 goal markets.