FA Cup 4th Round: Arsenal v Man Utd Tips & Betting Preview
Can Ole keep his stellar start going?
In the FA Cup fourth round’s glamour tie, Arsenal welcome a flying Manchester United to the Emirates.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær has now won his first seven matches as United boss – making Jose Mourinho look absolutely awful in the process – although Arsenal have only lost twice at home in all competitions, so something has to give.
I’m not going to try and predict a result - simply because that looks pretty impossible - so my first tip will instead be a bit of a banker: over 2.5 goals.
Don’t expect either manager to field weakened teams; Unai Emery played a strong side against Spurs in the EFL Cup (before getting knocked out), while Solskjær would be a fool to throw away his winning streak by not taking this seriously.
78% of Manchester United’s matches in the Premier League have seen over 2.5 goals this season, and while the figure is a slightly leaner 61% for Arsenal, they’ve only failed to score once at The Emirates (against Manchester City); Solskjær’s United have 19 goals in their seven matches, so I’m absolutely certain they will score as well.
This will be nothing like Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Chelsea, as United aren’t nearly as toothless these days, - hopefully leading to a few fireworks.
One fella who will almost certainly start for Manchester United is Romelu Lukaku.
The big Belgian has been overlooked in recent weeks in favour of red-hot Marcus Rashford, but he’s likely to get an opportunity to prove to Solskjær he can still cut it in a United shirt on Friday.
While Rashford is stealing the headlines, Lukaku still has three goals under Solskjær despite limited game time, and he’ll have his chances to score more against an Arsenal defence who have conceded more Premier League goals than 17th place Newcastle.
If this match is as open as I’m expecting, Lukaku is a good bet to find the net.
Finally, for a longshot, I have the score to be 1-1 at half-time, priced at $6.50*.
Arsenal have been drawing at half-time in 61% of their matches in the Premier League this season, and although they have started developing a reputation for being slow starters, Unai Emery’s men now have a first-half goal in four of their last five league matches at the Emirates.
United have scored 57% of their league goals in the first-half this season – which is much higher than the norm – and I do have a sneaky feeling they’ll draw first blood.
I like this price a lot.