Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: Manchester United vs Arsenal Preview

Manchester United vs Arsenal Preview

Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

A new era beckons for Manchester United, but their first encounter with their new interim manager is a heavyweight clash against an old rival. Every eye in world football will be on Old Trafford on Thursday evening when Arsenal come around for a visit.

This should be a spectacle, both sides will think they can win the game, and neither will be insecure. For the hosts, it’s another audition. For the visitors, it’s the sort of game where winning puts your confidence in another stratosphere.

Its Mikel Arteta against (possibly – pending a work visa) Ralph Rangnick. Fred the Red against Gunnersaurus. Manchester United against Arsenal!

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English Premier League
Thursday 2 December
Old Trafford

To Win
Manchester United 1/1
Draw 26/10
Arsenal 51/20

Manchester United

Manchester United did well to hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge last time out, but it should still be noted that Chelsea absolutely bossed the game for the entire 90 minutes.

Nevertheless, for a team placed 10th in the league to travel to the home of the Premier League champions-elect and get a point is surely positive? Now before you feel that urge to log into twitter and rain down on me in a storm of ‘told you so’ and ‘it’s too early to say Chelsea is winning’ – these are just simply facts!

Ralph Rangnick has now signed with United and will likely be in the dugout for the fixture. Of course, the German master coming into England and, in particular, United, is an incredible acquisition. There has never been a doubt that the squad is riddled with quality and complemented with experience and youth. Where many questions have prevailed this season, were largely concerned with the dugout.

The Red Devils are likely the only side in Europe who look as though they are constantly chasing the ball once their attempted press breaks down. To be fair, United looked to press Chelsea for the first 10 minutes of their game – but again it failed. They just don’t look like a side who have been trained or coached to press the ball in numbers with the adequate aggression and tactical know-how.

I’m very interested in what the club makes of the remainder of this season, do you right it off? Have a go in the Champions League (because you have nothing to lose), prioritise the FA Cup as an opportunity to win a piece of silverware and possibly look to ensure you maintain a top four finish in the league? Or is this too safe for a club like this? 

Either way, in terms of the league and those coveted top four places, this is a massive game then.

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That win over Newcastle at the weekend was an exceptional display of clinical and positive football. I’m still not convinced Arsenal have shored up their defence, but there is enough solidity to provide something of a base for their attacking players to get going.

Both these sides have incredible quality in their attacking spaces – there’s no doubt about that. But in order to bring those players into areas to be effective you are going to have to transition correctly and defend.

Arsenal have come out of nowhere. After a torrid start to their season, the Gunners have turned things around trading a relegation scrap into a Champions League place challenger.

Mikel Arteta will continue to learn and develop as a manager, but nobody can question that the young coach has the complete buy-in of his side. He hasn’t always gotten it right, but I think he can be something special over time, in fact it’s a breath of fresh air really – the fact that even when their whispers of his sacking early on, he’s been given the time he deserves.

Arsenal have lost just once in their last 12 games in all competition – and that was at an in-form Liverpool side. I thought they were competitive in that game until Arteta invited the Anfield crowd to turn up the heat. Yes, he defended his side and I think he stood up for himself and his players…but experience might have suggested Liverpool at home relish those environments. So why create it for them?

Prediction: Arsenal Win/Draw & BTTS (Yes) @ 33/20
Traditionally Arsenal come unstuck against the league’s big boys. And playing at Old Trafford will be a tricky game, there’s no question. My only concern here is I think punters might start to get ahead of themselves in how they view United now.

The new manager will have an impact, and players will want to impress him in these moments for sure. But I just don’t think United is the smart bet here. Arsenal have a clear understanding of their strongest side, they are high on confidence and Old Trafford isn’t exactly the fortress it once was.

As I’m sure you know, I wouldn’t mind be wrong here, but I think Arsenal on the win/draw double chance and both teams scoring is the bet. And at 33/20 it’s certainly justified in the market.

Written by Ryan Liberty