It has been more than five years since Arsenal won a Premier League away game at one of their ‘big six’ rivals but could all change when they visit Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.
The Red Devils impressed in their Champions League thrashing of RB Leipzig on Wednesday, yet their lack of consistency makes them hard to support in this game with much confidence.
Manchester United vs Arsenal
Mikel Arteta’s first win as Gunners boss came against United in January and the north London side have made steady progress since. However, they have stumbled in recent weeks, losing their last two league fixtures to Manchester City and Leicester City without scoring. But United’s inconsistency at the back means we are backing the same result as last year’s fixture – a 1-1 draw.
Manchester United vs Arsenal betting tips
Odds correct at the time of publication and are subject to change.
Arteta seeks marquee away win
While Arsenal have recorded a couple of Europa League wins in between the league losses, defeats by top-four rivals Leicester and Manchester City have taken the wind out of their sails and dented the belief they can secure Champions League football this season.
A victory at Old Trafford would certainly go a long way to restoring some confidence as they chase a first away success against a top-six rival since beating Manchester City in January 2015, while you have to go back to 2006 for the last time they won a league game at the Theatre of Dreams.
United have been accommodating hosts this season, with Crystal Palace and, most memorably, Tottenham taking all three points from their trips to the north-west. However, they did pick up their first home win of the campaign by hammering RB Leipzig 5-0 in the Champions League in midweek.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men have now won three of the last four and kept back-to-back clean sheets, going some way to erasing the memories of that 6-1 mauling by Tottenham.
However, the balance in the United team hasn’t quite been right: they were too conservative in their goalless draw with Chelsea last week, while Solskjaer has had his troubles against Arsenal, winning one of his four meetings with the Gunners as United boss.
Given Arsenal’s away issues against their rivals and United’s inconsistencies, these two could cancel each other out.
Tip: Draw @ 13/5 with bet365
Red Devils can punish Arsenal
The biggest improvement made by Arsenal under Arteta has been defensively, implementing a better shape and providing decent protection to goalkeeper Bernd Leno with three central defenders.
The Spaniard is short on options at the back this weekend though with David Luiz, Rob Holding and Pablo Mari all unavailable, and could have to alter his plans, potentially leaving them more exposed to a United attack that clicked into gear against Leipzig.
Marcus Rashford helped himself to a hat-trick in that win and will lead the line on Sunday, while Edinson Cavani is waiting in the wings to strike.
While any changes by Arteta could make his side more vulnerable, it may have a positive effect on Arsenal’s chances of scoring after struggling to open up opponents recently.
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang is enduring his worst goalscoring drought since 2014 but Arsenal haven’t failed to score on their last seven visits to Old Trafford and even with their recent clean sheets, United can’t be trusted to shut out the opposition.
Both teams to score has landed in five of United’s last six home league matches and should do so again on Sunday.
Tip: Both teams to score - Yes @ 8/13 with bet365
Defences could pay the penalty
Referee Mike Dean will take charge of Sunday's game and is 11/8 to award a penalty, a price that offers some value given his and the two sides’ recent spot-kick history.
The last time Dean took charge of matches involving United and Arsenal he awarded two penalties in both games, while he also pointed to the spot last week in Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Sheffield United.
No side were awarded more penalties last season than United and they have already had three in the league this term. Arsenal have yet to win a penalty but could end that run on Sunday with the Red Devils also giving away three spot-kicks already.
Tip: A penalty in the match @ 11/8 with b365
Manchester United vs Arsenal odds
The bookies have Manchester United down as the favourites, and can be backed at 1/1. Arsenal are 13/5 to come away from Old Trafford with the three points, while the draw is also priced at 13/5.
Odds are correct at the time of publication and are subject to change.
Last five results
28 Oct CL Man Utd 5 RB Leipzig 0 W
24 Oct PL Man Utd 0 Chelsea 0 D
20 Oct CL PSG 1 Man Utd 2 W
17 Oct PL Newcastle 1 Man Utd 4 W
4 Oct PL Man Utd 1 Tottenham 6 L
29 Oct EL Arsenal 3 Dundalk 0 W
25 Oct PL Arsenal 0 Leicester 1 L
22 Oct EL Rapid Vienna 1 Arsenal 2 W
17 Oct PL Man City 1 Arsenal 0 L
4 Oct PL Arsenal 2 Sheffield United 1 W
CL Champions League PL Premier League EL Europa League