Monday Night Football sees two great rivals meet at Old Trafford - George Pitts looks ahead to Man United v Arsenal.
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Man United v Arsenal
- 2000 BST kick-off on Sky Sports Premier League
The eye-catching clash of matchday seven in the Premier League comes from Old Trafford, between two of England's big clubs that have fallen by the wayside in recent years.
Man United and Arsenal are in transition under their managers - would be a kind way of putting it - and are now outsiders in the race for a top-four finish.
Defeat at West Ham last week saw more questions raised in regards to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's position, having won just twice in the league all season, and three days later they needed penalties to defeat Sky Bet League One side Rochdale in the Carabao Cup.
If ever United needed a good performance, Arsenal at home is the sort of fixture to fire them up and Solskjaer is a man who knows all about its ferocity.
These meetings used to decide silverware. Even at this stage of the season, 11th and eighth respectively is not usually how the two clubs find themselves.
Unai Emery's Gunners avoided an upset in the cup by hitting five without reply against Nottingham Forest to extend their winning run to three matches, and their unbeaten streak to five games in all competitions.
They have lost just once all season, away at early pace-setters Liverpool, and the main criticism of the Spanish boss came after Arsenal threw away a two-goal lead in the draw with Watford.
Away form was an issue for Arsenal last year and they have already dropped five points in just three games on the road. With Man United's growing injury list featuring Paul Pogba (potentially), Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, the Gunners have got to be confident of getting a result and piling more pressure on Solskjaer.
They can be backed with the draw no bet concession at odds fractionally north of evens while a score-and-win double with star man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang isn't far off 3/1.
Considering the Gabon forward has scored in six of his seven Arsenal appearances this term, and the fact he is likely to play in a central role in Alexandre Lacazette's absence, it could be worth backing to boost an away win view.
But the preference is to avoid the match market altogether as United can often surprise us and pull out a performance when the chips are down.
Instead, it's into the shots market - with the visitors fancied to register at least five efforts on target.
The Gunners look short at the back this term - United's defence is arguably more convincing - but they have plenty of flair going forward, with summer signings Nicolas Pepe and Dani Ceballos likely to play supporting roles with youngsters Reiss Nelson or Bukayo Saka behind Aubameyang.
The Londoners average 14 shots per game away from home in the league this term, with around five of those on target.
Even without necessarily seeing off the game, Arsenal will surely create chances and at least five shots on target is a reasonable ask given how much possession they're expected to enjoy.
Prediction: Man United 1-1 Arsenal (Sky Bet odds: 6/1)
Sporting Life Price Boost: Mason Greenwood and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both to score - enhanced to 7/1 exclusively through this link
Soccer Saturday's Charlie Nicholas, Phil Thompson and Matt Le Tissier give us their thoughts on the big MNF clash between Man United and Arsenal. Click the image below to take read...
- Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 12 Premier League games against Arsenal at Old Trafford (W8 D4 L0) since a 1-0 defeat in September 2006.
- Arsenal are looking to register consecutive Premier League victories over Man Utd for the first time since winning both matches in the 2006-07 campaign.
- All three of Arsenal’s away Premier League victories against Manchester United have been on different days of the week (Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday). This is only their third Premier League meeting with the Red Devils on a Monday, drawing 1-1 in January 2000 and losing 0-1 in December 2010.
- Arsenal have taken (1) or faced (3) a penalty in each of their last four Premier League games and could become just the sixth side in the competition’s history to see a penalty awarded in five successive games. This season, Man Utd have won the most (4) and Arsenal have conceded the most (3) spot-kicks in the competition.
- Manchester United have lost three of their last six Premier League home games (W2 D1), as many as they had in their previous 52 at Old Trafford (W32 D17 L3).
- Manchester United lost their last home league game against a London club (1-2 vs Crystal Palace) – they’ve not lost consecutive home games against sides from the capital since December 2001 (vs Chelsea and West Ham).
- Arsenal have conceded at least twice in each of their last four Premier League games – they’ve not shipped 2+ goals in five consecutive top-flight games since August 1985.
- Ole Gunnar Solskjær lost his first Premier League game against Arsenal as Manchester United boss, with only three Man Utd managers losing their first two league games against the Gunners – James West (1900), Tommy Docherty (1973) and Dave Sexton (1977/78).
- Jesse Lingard has scored four goals for Manchester United against Arsenal in all competitions, more than he has versus any other side for the Red Devils.
- Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 13 goals in his last 13 starts in the Premier League, while his haul of six goals is the most by an Arsenal player in their first six games of the season since Emmanuel Adebayor in 2007-08 (also six).
Odds correct as of 1700 BST on 29/09/19
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