All articles by: David Shaw

Manchester United vs Arsenal – Match Preview

Manchester United vs Arsenal
Sunday 29th April 2018
FA Premier League, Old Trafford

Live on Sky Sports Premier League – Kick-Off: 16:30 

Manchester United vs Arsenal – But for it being Arsene Wenger’s final trip to Old Trafford as Arsenal manager, Sunday’s Premier League showdown at Manchester United means very little.

The vicious rivalry of yesteryear has dimmed in recent times, leaving this once massive date in the English football calendar looking rather insignificant amid the greater scheme of things. That is the case more than ever this season.

United are coasting in second place, unlikely to be caught by those below, and with their sights set on lifting the FA Cup final next month.

That could be key to their motivation this weekend. Manager Jose Mourinho has complained about his players’ inability to perform at a consistently high level this year and will be demanding they can continue where they left off while knocking Tottenham out of the Cup last Saturday.

Many felt the 2-1 comeback at Wembley United’s most complete, exciting display of the season and their Portuguese coach will expect them to retain the momentum gained.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are sixth in the table, with only the threat of being overtaken by Burnley to keep them on their guard.

Battling off the pitch to dispel rumours Wenger is being forced out by the board – rather than it being a mutual decision, the players have responded well in the two games since his departure at the end of the season was confirmed.

They thumped West Ham 4-1 at the Emirates last Sunday, and then played even better in the home leg of their Europa League clash with Atletico Madrid.

Unfortunately, they were not as ruthless in front of goal, though. They scored once from 27 shots – and then allowed ten-man Atletico to snatch an undeserved late equaliser and 1-1 draw.

With the semi-final tie so evenly poised – and the second leg in Madrid looming large four days after the United game – Wenger is likely to ring the changes and field a virtual second-string line-up.

Which hardly bodes well for any sort of upset on Sunday.

United are very strong on their patch this term. They have lost only three of 24 in all competitions, winning 19 of those.

You could argue Wenger’s reserves cannot do worse on the road than his regulars. Arsenal have not taken a point on their travels in 2018. They have won only three times in 16 away league games, losing a nightmare nine.

Arsenal have not won in the league at Old Trafford in ten attempts. They last won there in September 2006. However, they have drawn two of their last three at United.

Scorers: Alexis Sanchez is beginning to deliver. He followed two assists in the 3-2 derby win over Man City with a goal in last weekend’s FA Cup semi-final win over Spurs – his second in four games.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, cup-tied in the Europa League, seems certain to lead the Arsenal line. The Gabon striker has scored five in his last seven appearances.

Referee Kevin Friend has shown 40 yellows in 18 league games this season, an average 2.2 per match. He is yet to show a red card.

Manchester United vs Arsenal will be televised live in the UK on Sky Sports Premier League HD with kick-off at 16:30 GMT.

Prediction: Manchester United to win 2-0.

Suggested tips – Manchester United vs Arsenal – (BET365):

  • Manchester United to win to nil – (link no longer available).
  • Correct score, Manchester United to Win 2-0 – (link no longer available).

Suggested tips – Manchester United vs Arsenal – (SKYBET):

  • RequestABet 80/1 and above – Sanchez, Rashford & Lukaku to score, Manchester United win 4-0 – 100/1.
  • Le Tissier’s RAB: Lukaku & Sanchez to score and Manchester United win 2-0 – 66/1.
  • RequestABet 80/1 and above – Lukaku & Sanchez to score, Manchester United win 2-0 and under 40 match booking points – 100/1.
  • Price Boost – Nemanja Matic and Granit Xhaka both to be carded  – 8/1.
  • Price Boost – Pogba to score outside the area  – 8/1.
  • Player to be Carded Boost – Callum Chambers to be carded  – 2/1. (NAP)
  • Player to be Carded Boost – Ainsley Mainland-Niles to be carded  – 6/1. (NB)
  • RequestABet up to 10/1 – Manchester United to score 2+ goals, 5+ Manchester United corners & 20+ Arsenal booking points – 13/8. (NAP 2)
  • RequestABet 80/1 and above – Sanchez to score, Manchester United to win and score 2+ goals, 7+ match corners, and 20 Arsemal booking points – 9/2(NB 2)
  • RequestABet 80/1 and above – Lukaku & Sanchez to score, Xhaka & Chambers to be carded – 50/1(NB 3)
  • RequestABet 80/1 and above – Lukaku & Sanchez to score, Manchester United win 2-0 and under 40 match booking points – 100/1(Outsider)


Fed Up Arsenal Board Draw up Shortlist

Arsenal capitulated under the Wembley arch during the League Cup final, and for the Gunners board, it may have been the last straw. Wenger’s men were completely outplayed and outfought by City in what turned out to be a disastrous afternoon in the nation’s capital. The severity of the beating prompted a furious Gary Neville rant, with the former Manchester United player describing some of the Arsenal players as an “absolute disgrace”.

Neville didn’t stop there and referred to a selection of the players as “spineless”. It was a passionate outburst from the Sky Sports pundit that was justified at the time. During Neville’s time at the Red Devils, he came up against Arsenal each season during his 19-year career.

Neville’s strong criticism of the current set of Arsenal players should be listened to. If anyone knows how high the standards of Arsenal Football Club should be, it is him. There is a lack of fight in the Arsenal ranks. The latest murmurings from North London suggest the board have noticed, too. The Wenger-out brigade look set to finally get their wish. Whatever way you look at it, Arsenal are going backwards. With 11 games to go, they are shameful 1000/1 to win the league. A proud and prestigious club like Arsenal deserves better.

Names like Leonardo Jardim and Mikel Arteta are being spoken about as replacements. If any change at Arsenal were to take place then it would be at the end of the season. Winning the Europa League may still not be enough to keep the Frenchman in the hot seat. At 6/1 the Gunners are not the current favourites but should progress past the round of 16. AC Milan will be the next test for Arsenal. Both of these teams are no longer at the same table as Europe’s elite. As poorly as Wenger’s charges are doing domestically, they are tipped to go through at 8/13.

A poor result at the San Siro could force the board’s hand. Change at Arsenal is inevitable but seemed some way off. This was even before kickoff of the Carabao Cup final. A week is an eternity in football. Another Cup failure and it could be over for Wenger.

There is more discontent in the Arsenal boardroom than once thought. Still, the Frenchman is only the sixth-favourite Premier League manager to be sacked next at 25/1. It’s unlikely the Arsenal boss will win the current sack race. The patience within the Arsenal boardroom is, however, wavering, and punters who think change at the Emirates is nigh can access the latest free bets 2018. If the 68-year-old does leave, it’s hard to see him going back into management again.

This long and drawn out saga involving Wenger has gone on for far too long. When change occurs, it’s easy to see how the fanbase will pull together and make the Emirates a more tolerant place. It’s always said that one should be careful about what they wish for. The Arsenal fans don’t have much to worry about in that sense. If Arsenal aren’t winning trophies or playing Champions League football. How much worse can things get? A top-four finish at 20/1 is highly unlikely now.

As bad as things get at Arsenal it takes a great deal of imagination to see the Gunners being relegated. A different direction is needed even if it means another year without a trophy or Champions League football.

As a club Arsenal have all the foundations in place to dominate English football. At the very least, do a whole lot better than how they are doing now. Once a new manager arrives the board will be under greater scrutiny as to why they had not done it sooner Success and happier times will follow once Wenger has been put out to pasture.

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