Two teams that would have expected to challenge for the Premier League title feature in this week's highlight fixture. Unfortunately for Arsenal and Manchester United, those expectations have not been met and Champions League qualification is all that’s left to fight for. Who will triumph at the Emirates this Sunday? Read on for some betting insight.
Arsenal and Manchester United have always been known as two of the most successful clubs in English soccer. However, both teams have struggled to compete in recent years and while Arsenal have been consistent in maintaining a top four finish, Manchester United have fallen further behind the Premier League's elite.
Both teams need to win on Sunday to maintain the pressure on those above them in the table, but who will come out on top?
Live odds for Arsenal vs. Manchester United
Expectation vs. Reality
In the build-up to any Premier League season, the same teams are touted as “genuine contenders” for the title. The likes of Arsenal and Manchester United are always amongst those mentioned and often feature at the head of the outright Premier League betting. However, this season, like so many in recent years, the two sides have never really looked like challenging for the Premier League title.
The notorious rivalry between the two sides means there could be value in the cards betting market.
Although Arsenal responded to an opening day defeat to Liverpool by going unbeaten for 14 league games, by the turn of the year the Gunners' season was all but over. Manchester United, by contrast, struggled to get going at the start of the season but are now unbeaten in 25 games - this stat doesn’t make for such impressive reading when you consider 12 of those 25 games have been draws.
Will either side finish in the top four?
Chelsea and Tottenham are currently battling it out for the Premier League title, which means there are two remaining Champions League places up for grabs - Manchester City (1.100*) and Liverpool (1.148*) are currently strong favourites to take those two places, while Manchester United (5.520*) and Arsenal (8.670*) still have an outside chance.
Manchester United are unbeaten in 25 games, but 12 of those 25 games have been draws.
A draw on Sunday won’t do Arsenal and Manchester United any favours and a loss for either side would end any potential top four challenge. The benefit of home field advantage and the fact that the away team’s squad is severely depleted by injury make Arsenal an obvious favourite for Sunday’s match, but sharp bettors may find value elsewhere.
The injury to Zlatan Ibrahimovic has dealt a massive blow to Manchester United ahead of the final few games of the season - before his injury, Ibrahimovic had been involved in (scored or assisted) 44% of his team’s league goals. Thankfully for Arsenal, Alexis Sanchez (who has been involved in 43.75% of his team’s goals) is available for Sunday.
Where is the value?
Arsenal has the worst defensive record of any team in the top six, conceding an average of 1.27 goals per game, so Manchester United to score over 1 team goals at 2.040* might be a popular option for bettors - over 2.5 goals in the match is currently priced at 1.909*.
It could also pay to analyse other available markets for this particular match. Both Arsenal (14.6) and Manchester United (16.3) attempt plenty of shots per game so betting on corners might be a worthwhile alternative. Additionally, the notorious rivalry between the two sides means there could be value in the cards betting market.