Once upon a time in a Premier League galaxy, not so far away….. Arsenal and Manchester United showdowns were the most hotly anticipated, fiercely fought, title slugfests the English game had likely ever witnessed.
However, while the latest Saturday teatime edition at the Emirates will capture the attention over the rest of the weekend fixture list, a win for either will have little impact at the summit.
Still, with the top-four now the target, it’s one man in sensational form for the Gunners who is likely to shape the outcome of this contest, and produce a 6/5-rated win; according to the Top Trumps breakdown.
Form: Arsenal 5 / Man Utd 6
A 1-0 home win over Crystal Palace before the international break is enough to see United edge this, but in truth neither side has impressed much recently.
Arsenal were going pretty well until passing up a three-goal lead at home to Anderlecht and then losing to Swansea when in front again.
Defence: Arsenal 4 / Man Utd 4
Injuries have decimated both sides in defensive quarters, with Arsenal particularly vulnerable with Nacho Monreal filling in at centre-half and Calum Chambers run-ragged at Swansea, playing right-back.
Arsene Wenger may wish to shuffle his pack, while Louis van Gaal is simply running out of available personnel. However, he will have sought some solace from Chris Smalling’s England performance against Scotland and the Red Devils to come off the back of a clean sheet.
Star Man: Arsenal 10 / Man Utd 6
Alexis Sanchez’s unquenchable thirst for goals has seen the Chilean superstar net seven times in his last six appearances.
In Sanchez Arsenal have the league’s outstanding performer at present, while British transfer record Angel Di Maria’s fine start to life at Old Trafford has gone by the wayside in recent weeks.
Attack: Arsenal 8 / Man Utd 6
Armed with the lethal Sanchez, the Gunners were always going to come out on top here, while they average just over two goals per game in their last eight matches.
Shawn of suspended skipper Wayne Rooney recently, United have only scored twice in their last three games contrastingly. Rooney’s return after three England goals is a huge plus for the visitors.
Coaches: Arsenal 6 / Man Utd 7
Wenger’s decision not to change his defence against Swansea, where Chambers was left more exposed than an Emperor penguin on the edge of an Antarctic huddle, was ludicrous.
Van Gaal’s ability to manage a decimated squad to victory last time out sees the Dutchman edge this one.
Totals: Arsenal 33 / Man Utd 29
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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