Arsenal v Man Utd Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 25/01/19
James Cormack (@jamesxyyx) previews Arsenal v Manchester United and provides us with his best bets for Friday night’s FA Cup 4th round clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
Arsenal v Manchester United FA Cup Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 25/01/19
- Time: 19:55
- Venue: Emirates Stadium
- Channel: BBC One
Unai Emery will be looking to halt the Solskjaer renaissance at Manchester United as his Arsenal side welcome the Red Devils to the Emirates on Friday night for the highlight fixture of the FA Cup 4th round.
Emery’s Arsenal side come into this one full of confidence after their satisfying 2-0 win over London rivals Chelsea, a game where Emery used a narrow 4-1-2-1-2 to suffocate the likes of Jorginho and Kovacic in the middle of the park as well as nullifying the effectiveness of Eden Hazard in central areas.
The win on Saturday was massive for Arsenal. Prior to that they had won once in their last 4 outings and a win for Chelsea would’ve seen the Gunners slip to 6th, 3 points behind United and 9 points behind the Blues, who currently occupy that final Champions League spot. With the number of key absentees in that Spurs squad for the foreseeable future, we could see a real dogfight between four teams for two Champions League places.
Solskjaer passed his managerial exam a couple of weeks ago when he took his United side to Wembley and came out with a 1-0 win (with many thanks to David De Gea and some woeful Spurs finishing). The Norwegian has overseen 7 straight United wins since he took over and has to be credited for the rejuvenation of the likes of Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and even Marcus Rashford.
I fully expect both managers to play strong starting 11’s for this one. This competition provides them with a realistic chance at some silverware in their debut/caretaker seasons at their respective clubs. It would make sense for Emery to operate with three central midfielders to match-up with Matic, Pogba and Herrera, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him use a 4-2-3-1 with a CM getting sacrificed for an attacking midfielder, maybe Iwobi or Ozil.
Going back to Arsenal’s win over Chelsea, another boost has to be the performance of their two centre-halves. Laurent Koscielny and Sokratis were superb against Eden Hazard in the false 9 and consistent performances like that will certainly enhance Arsenal’s top 4 chances. The threat United pose on the counter, as we saw at Wembley in the first-half, will certainly mean Arsenal’s back-line will have to put in another stout performance.
The home side were dealt a huge blow on Saturday with Hector Bellerin obtaining a knee injury that will side-line the full-back for 9 months. He joins Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck on the long-term injury list. On the bright side, ex-Man United man Henrikh Mkhitaryan returned to training this week but this game is likely to be too soon for his return.
Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo are both available for this one after missing some time due to injury. Luke Shaw is also likely to be fit after being taken ill in the warm-up prior to United’s win over Brighton last Saturday. Another interesting piece of news involves Alexis Sanchez, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expecting the former Arsenal man to be available for this fixture. The Chilean has missed United’s last two games through injury.
Potential Arsenal Starting XI: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Torreira, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
Potential Manchester Utd Starting XI: De Gea, Valencia, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw, Matic, Herrera, Pogba, Martial, Rashford, Lukaku.
Head To Head
- FA Cup history: Arsenal-7, Draw-1, Man Utd-7.
Key Stats & Facts
- In the 3rd round- Arsenal defeated Blackpool 3-0 whilst United overcame Reading with a 2-1 at Old Trafford.
- Most recent meeting between the two sides ended 2-2 at Old Trafford back in November, so Jose Mourinho will still in charge.
- Marcus Rashford has already scored 5 times in 6 starts under Solskjaer, he only had 3 PL goals under Mourinho this season.
- Paul Pogba has accumulated 5G’s and 4A’s under Solskjaer compared to his PL tally of 3G’s, 3A’s in 14 games under Mourinho this season.
- Under Mourinho, Matic had an average rating of 6.63 (2018-19) in 14 PL games. Under Solskjaer, this rating has risen to 7.4 (according to whoscored.com).
- United have only conceded once in three away games under their interim coach (penalty v Cardiff).
- Arsenal have only lost once at home in the PL this season (v Manchester City), scoring 26 in 12.
- BTTS in 17/23 of Arsenal’s PL fixtures so far this season.
- These two sides do hold the worst defensive records out of the top 6 sides by a distance. West Ham have only conceded more out of teams in the top half.
- Arsenal 13/8
- Draw 13/5
- Manchester Utd 17/10
The outcome of this fixture is very tough to call, especially with the likelihood of both mangers deploying strong starting 11’s. One bet I do like is Rashford anytime. The 21-year old has been in fine form as of late, scoring 5 in his last 6 starts and he often shows up on the big occasion. With either Lingard or Lukaku occupying the central role, Rashford will drift out to the right or left-hand side. I like the matchup between Rashford and Arsenal’s two full-backs, with either Monreal/Kolasinac or Maitland Niles/Lichtsteiner being tasked to mark the lightning-quick forward. His composure in-front of goal fills me with confidence that when he gets a chance on Friday, he’ll put it away.
I also like the look of BTTS in the 1st half at just under 3/1. This bet came in back when the sides met in November and I fancy it to happen again. Man United have scored more goals in the first half compared to the second half so far this season (26 in 1st, 20 in 2nd) whilst Arsenal have a decent record in the first half, scoring 16. The atmosphere at the Emirates should be buzzing early on Friday night and I expect the home side to respond with a goal in the opening period.