Arsenal (+154) vs Manchester United (+210), Draw (+244)
Arsenal hosts Manchester United this Saturday (December 2nd) for an exciting top-four clash. Man U have been sitting comfortably in second throughout the season, fending off the clubs beneath them but never really challenging Man City for the top spot. Meanwhile, a string of wins have lifted Arsenal back into their trademarked fourth-place.
Recent Record and Form
Arsenal (9-1-4, 28 points) started the season with two losses in their opening three games and have been mostly disappointing throughout the season. But their recent 2-0 win over Spurs was a huge boost to morale and now the Gunners are riding high on a three-game winning streak in the league. On Tuesday, they ran through Huddersfield 5-0.
Manchester United (10-2-2, 32 points) have been steady all season. An unfortunate 2-1 loss to Huddersfield and a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea allowed Man City to surge ahead, but the Red Devils are still in fine form and, like Arsenal, are riding a three-game winning streak in the league. Their wins haven’t always been pretty but their results are undeniable.
First, let’s talk about who isn’t injured. Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are back in the Man United line-up!
Pogba returned to the pitch for a 4-1 win over Newcastle United, netting a goal and an assist. He didn’t need any time to recalibrate or ease back into the squad; it was like he never left. The Man U midfield lacked energy and creativity without their prized player, and with him back in the starting lineup, the squad is once again firing on all cylinders.
As for Ibrahimovic, it remains to be seen whether he still has a role in the squad. With so many top-notch attacking players to choose from, Mourinho may bench the 36-year-old striker.
Michael Carrick remains injured and may not feature for the rest of the season. The 36-year-old was sidelined due to an irregular heart rhythm and Mourinho is nudging him to take up a coaching role within the club.
A more pressing concern for Mourinho is the number of players nursing short-term injuries. Marouane Fellaini, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, and Nemanja Matic could all potentially miss the clash against Arsenal.
The Gunners only really have one notable absence — Alexandre Lacazette. Their leading goalscorer, who cost them an absurd €53 million over the summer, went down on Wednesday during their match against Huddersfield. With their star striker sidelined, it’ll be up to Danny Welbeck, Olivier Giroud, or Alexis Sanchez to spearhead the Arsenal attack.
This is where things really start to look good for Arsenal. While their season hasn’t been too impressive overall, the Gunners boast a perfect home record (7-0-0) in the Premier League. That includes a momentous 2-0 win over North London rivals Tottenham.
Man United have been impressive this season, but their record away (3-2-2) leaves a lot to be desired. They’ve only won one of their last four games on the road, which includes a bizarre loss to Huddersfield. When playing at Old Trafford, Man U are arguably the best in the league. But we shouldn’t expect them to be as dominant when they meet Arsenal at the Emirates.
Pick: Arsenal (+154)
Arsenal’s woes are far from gone. Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez still haven’t renewed their contracts and could leave for greener pastures in January. That would seriously hollow out the Gunners’ attack. But for now, Arsenal are back in form and playing like the team we remember so fondly. I expect them to successfully guard their unblemished home record against Man U.