Thierry Henry’s return to The Emirates last week lit up the stadium in a way fans have seldom seen since its 2006 opening.
The electric atmosphere stirred up among Arsenal fans, merely in reception of the Frenchman’s presence, was a key factor in the home side’s 1-0 triumph over Leeds, as Henry raced off the bench to score the winner.
He looks unlikely to repeat that feat this weekend however, with the iconic striker very doubtful to take part against Manchester United after picking up a calf injury in training.
Boss Arsene Wenger has utilised Henry from the bench in each of the two games he has been available for since his return, but it now seems improbable that he will even be named as a substitute as the Gunners look to avenge their 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford back in August.
Keeping this in mind, and the buoyancy provided by Henry’s mere presence in the squad, it is not surprising to see the improving United as favourites for the match, despite being the away side.
Manchester United’s odds are 6/4 to come away with all three points, and punters should take plenty of interest in Sir Alex Ferguson’s side at that price.
Arsenal, who have arguably failed to show any real dominance over their visitors since Henry was in his prime, are 7/4 to secure a home victory.
It was two years and six games ago that the teams last cancelled each other out, and the draw is quite long at 9/4 this Sunday.
Wenger’s young squad proved they can conquer the champions last season, when Aaron Ramsey’s strike separated the sides at The Emirates.
United have won the other four of the past five meetings however, and there did appear to be a massive gulf in class between the teams during Arsenal’s 8-2 humiliation at Old Trafford earlier this campaign.