After a weak slate last weekend, this Sunday is filled with three intriguing fixtures. And while many analysts will be focused on the upcoming Merseyside derby, the eyes of the world will be on Arsenal v Man Utd.
Back in March, Arsène Wenger got the better of Louis van Gaal en route to winning his second FA Cup trophy in two years. Now the pressure is on for van Gaal to outfox Wenger, given how Man Utd enter this weekend as the league-leaders.
Arsenal’s attack finally exploded into action with an action-packed 5-2 victory over Carlo Ranieri’s Leicester City. The fact that they were able to score five goals was underpinned by the fact that Alexis Sánchez scored a hat-trick. This was especially important because Sánchez was yet to get off the mark.
From an analytical standpoint, Arsenal continue to be enigmatic. While they can beat Chelsea 1-0 in a Charity Shield match, they will go and lose just few weeks later when they play in the league. Between now and the end of the season, there will likely be more twists and turns for the Gunners.
Man Utd have been surprisingly solid in defence, with Chris Smalling and Daley Blind both playing extremely well in their unlikely partnership. But they will face a dynamic challenge in the form of the lightning-quick Theo Walcott, who is currently leading the line for Arsenal. The England speedster has the pace to torment the Man Utd backline.
Until Anthony Martial assuredly scored his way into the first XI, Man Utd had been severely lacking in attack. Now, though, his mere presence appears to create space for his teammates. The 19-year-old’s pace can stretch defences and allow for Juan Mata, Memphis Depay, and Wayne Rooney to operate. The absence of suspended Arsenal centre-back Gabriel might enable us to expect goals at both ends of the pitch.
Tip one: Arsenal @ 2.00
Tip two: Over 2.5 goals @ 1.80
Arsenal’s pace and creativity will present Man Utd with an immense challenge. Sánchez and Walcott could both be primed for excellent afternoons.