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Arsenal vs. Manchester United: Visitors ‘narrow favourites’ to inflict more misery on hosts



It feels like Manchester United’s season is finally gaining some momentum, with the Red Devils’ two consecutive wins over the Christmas period seeing them jump to fifth in the table.

Arsenal, however, simply cannot get going at the moment. Despite an impressive first-half performance against Chelsea under new manager Mikel Arteta, the Gunners conceived to throw away a one-goal lead in the last ten minutes of the match to lose 2-1 and leave themselves a distant 11 points behind Chelsea, and thereby the Champions League places.

Having won just one of their last 15 matches in all competition, they remain marooned in 12th positon in the Premier League table and only six points above the relegation zone.

For Arsenal and Arteta, this season is now probably about building an identity for the forthcoming years, as well as challenging for the Europa League once it returns in February.

United, however, now have the Champions League places in their sights having cut the gap to four points. They’ve had a few too many false dawns already this season, and while the bookmakers have made them favourites to ensure this isn’t another one just yet, it is only narrowly so.

United are 6/4 to leave the Emirates with all three points.

The draw is 5/2, with a first Arteta win as Arsenal manager 7/4.

Goals feel likely in this one, with both teams to score landing in 8 of Arsenal’s 10 home fixtures this season. It’s as short as 1/2 to happen once again, with an away win and BTTS an appealing 10/3.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Marcus Rashford have been in superb goalscoring form for both sides of late, and they are 23/20 and 6/5 respectively to get themselves on the scoresheet once more.

Alexandre Lacazette is 13/10, with Anthony Martial 13/8.

It remains to be seen whether midfielder Paul Pogba will start this one having returned from injury. The Frenchman came on as a second-half substitute against Newcastle on Boxing Day, but was not even in the squad for Saturday’s trip to Burnley.

Should he be selected, odds of 7/2 on him to score look generous, as does 5/1 on Jesse Lingard, who has scored three goals in his last two visits to the Emirates, and surely has to break his barren run sooner or later.

I'm a freelance sports journalist who has worked for Goal & Bleacher Report amongst others. Get in touch, you're more than welcome to do so via Twitter.  

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