Prediction and odds: Arsenal (4/5) vs Manchester United (16/5)
We’re backing Man United/Draw (HT/FT) at 14/1
When: Sunday, 22nd January 2023 – 4.30pm KO (GMT)
Where: Emirates Stadium
Premier League strugglers Liverpool and Chelsea will collide this weekend with both clubs desperately needing a big win.
Arsenal fans are on cloud nine, and so they should be. The Gunners have waited so long to be back on top or, at the very least, fighting for a place at the top. They are currently riding high as the Premier League leaders with the kind of grit, heart and determination that is hard to manufacture. Now, moving forward, the pressure is on, given that their title destiny is situated firmly in their own hands.
Arsenal knew that the turn of the year was going to be key for them in the title race. They started off with a 0-0 draw against Newcastle which, when you consider the form of the Magpies, wasn’t a terrible result. They proceeded to breeze past Oxford United in the FA Cup, and then in the North London derby, they put Tottenham to the sword in the form of a 2-0 triumph.
Manchester United, much like their old rivals from London, are looking as good as they have done in a long time. The introduction of Erik ten Hag alone has done wonders for their confidence, especially since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. They may still have a long way to go before getting back to the force they once were, but one thing is for sure – they’re on the right track and they’ve got the right man in charge.
After beating Bournemouth, Everton and Charlton across three competitions, all in the space of a week, United faced their biggest challenge of the season. They had to overcome bitter rivals Manchester City and despite going 1-0 down, they were able to dig deep and get all three points. Unfortunately, that was followed by a tricky trip to Crystal Palace that ended 1-1.
Arsenal need to enforce their will in this game from the word go because if they don’t, United will start to get comfortable. In fact, we’d actually argue that the likeliest outcome in the first half is the Red Devils taking the lead, likely through an intricate piece of play from Rashford as he breaks the offside trap.
Alas, the midfield battle is going to be really key here. Casemiro is a huge miss for the visitors with Xhaka and Partey likely to control the pace in the middle of the park. As such, we expect to see the hosts grab an equaliser, although we don’t think they’ll go one further, leaving us with an entertaining 1-1 draw in North London.
Our tips (all taken from bet365): Man United/Draw (HT/FT) at 14/1 + under 2.5 goals at 11/10
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