Man Utd were thrashed by Arsenal earlier in the season and after their last game, with Sunderland, their fans might be worried about a repeat. Louis van Gaal’s time has to be regarded as an abject failure given United’s worst ever points total after 26 games of a Premier League season. United did win in Week 27 in each of their previous six worst 26-game points seasons but they’re not giving punters much confidence right now.
United’s problems this term have been quite obvious, as the attack has looked very mediocre, and it’s probably no surprise that 33 goals is their lowest total at this stage of a Premier League season. However, that it’s seven goals (18%) worse than their previous lowest total really highlights what a struggle it’s been. The lack of goals at either end at Old Trafford has been pretty well documented and they do at least have eight clean sheets in their 12 home games as both teams have scored just three times and eight of the matches have been goalless at half-time.
However, there had been signs of an improvement before the Sunderland defeat and you have to go back to September 2006 to find the last time they lost at home in the league to the Gunners. Of course, they’d never lost to Sunderland in the Premier League and in the past two seasons there have been a number of similar records that have fallen by the wayside for the Red Devils while Arsenal did win here in the FA Cup last season.
The Gunners are notoriously bad when they travel to the other big clubs, going W2-D4-L14 at top-five finishers in the past five seasons. This term they’ve only travelled to Leicester and were 5-2 winners, but the Foxes were not considered serious challengers back then so it’s possible the Gunners forgot they were meant to choke. The only other members of the top eight they’ve been to were Southampton – losing 4-0 – and Liverpool – drawing 3-3. Their away form is pretty poor as they’ve won only two of their last seven matches and those were against Bournemouth and Aston Villa. So there are big question marks over both teams and it wouldn’t be surprised to see them cancel each other out with a repeat of last season’s draw, which can be backed at 3.3.
The half-time draw is always a good bet for United’s matches at the moment, having landed in 16 of their last 24 games, and they’ve scored just one goal in their four home matches against the current top seven this season. Arsenal’s scoring has hardly been prolific either, as they’ve only twice had fewer goals at this stage in the past 16 seasons, and so with it likely to be a low scoring affair we like the half-time draw as our best bet.
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