Arsenal vs Manchester United Preview

English Premier League | Sunday 4 October 2015 | Emirates Stadium | 17:00

League leaders Manchester United will travel to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday to take on red-hot Arsenal. United will be looking to maintain their position at the summit of the Premier League table and victory over a direct rival would certainly show their title credentials. Arsenal, however, will be determined to break their dismal record against the Red Devils and with home advantage coupled with the individual brilliance of Alexis Sanchez, they have every chance of doing so.  

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To Win (90mins)
Arsenal 19/20
Draw 5/2
Man United 27/10


Arsenal have had an indifferent start to the season. The Gunners have won four of their seven matches played with a draw at home to Liverpool and defeats against West Ham and London rivals Chelsea. The Gunners will need to improve their form against the big teams this season and they face a real test against Manchester United. Arsenal’s last league victory over United came in the 2010/11 season with a sole goal from Aaron Ramsey. Since then, United have beaten them five times with three draws. 

Arsenal know that victory over United is crucial as it would take them level on points with Louis van Gaal’s team and Arsene Wenger will certainly take a lot of positives from his sides 5-2 thrashing of Leicester City last weekend. Until the match at Leicester, Arsenal’s attacking play in 2015/16 had been uncharacteristically uninspiring. However, at the King Power Stadium, the Gunners’ forward line burst into life in spectacular fashion. With the fleet-footed pair of Alexis and Theo Walcott working in tandem, Wenger’s men seem to have found a formula that could pose problems for almost any defence. 

Alexis was the obvious star last weekend. Having gone eight games without a goal, he broke his duck in extraordinary fashion, grabbing his first hat-trick in Arsenal colours. The treble means he is now the first-ever player to have scored a hat-trick in the English, Spanish and Italian top flight. That remarkable feat is testament to Alexis’ unique talent. The Gunners are capable of beating any team when at their best and if they want to mount a genuine title charge, they will need to improve in these fixtures. Wenger is likely to keep a similar team that ran riot at Leicester last time out with just one change in selection expected. Francis Coquelin should shake off his knee injury and come back into the side with Mathieu Flamini expected to miss out following a hamstring injury he suffered in the first-half of their win against Leicester. Walcott should retain his place up front ahead of French forward Olivier Giroud. Walcott has many of the attributes required of a top goalscorer. He is a superb sprinter, makes intelligent runs in behind and is capable of finishing sharply.  

Manchester United

Manchester United went top of the Premier League after beating bottom-of-the-table Sunderland 3-0 last Saturday. Goals from Memphis Depay, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata gave the Red Devils all three points at Old Trafford. The Red Devils will now face their biggest test of the season so far but will fancy their chances against Arsenal. United hold the bragging rights in recent years having lost just twice to the Londoners in the last 17 meetings with 11 wins and four draws. 

United are also unbeaten in their last four meetings at the Emirates Stadium, winning twice. Mata is a vital part of United's recent good form and will be integral to any success they have this season. He was awarded Man of the Match against Sunderland. With a goal and an assist, that award was well earned. It was a continuation of his fine form—he has either scored or assisted in five of his last six Premier League appearances. 

Mata will be looking to manipulate the Arsenal defenders and provide a constant attacking threat with his incredible vision and ability to pick a pass. There was some concern that Van Gaal had hugely overpaid for an unproven young striker when Anthony Martial arrived at the end of the summer transfer window. However, Martial is doing his best to prove any doubters wrong, and he has scored four goals and produced an assist in his first five appearances for United. Memphis Depay will provide a constant threat on the wing and pester Arsenal’s fullbacks with excessive pace, quick-feet, brilliant creativity and an eye for goal.  

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Probable line-ups:

Arsenal: 4-3-2-1
Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Cazorla; Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis; Walcott 

Manchester United: 4-2-3-1
De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Rojo, Blind; Carrick, Schneiderlin; Mata, Rooney, Depay; Martial

Betting Verdict: Man United Win/Draw 8/10
Arsenal have struggled against big teams this season and their record against United does not bode well. United are in good form with three wins on the trot and I’m tipping them on the Win/Draw Double at 8/10. 

Written by Chadley Nagel for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!