Man Utd and Arsenal meet in their first head-to-head of the season tonight in a game in which bookmakers have unanimously priced the Red Devils as outright favourites despite the contrasting fortunes of the two sides in recent months.
Arsenal, growing stronger and looking hungrier with each game, are currently undergoing something of a Unai Emery-inspired revolution as they remain undefeated in 19 games.
The Gunners emerge from a performance against Spurs at the weekend, a 4-2 victory, in what many observers believe to have been their most impressive performance in recent memory.
The North London side’s endemic confidence issues – which arguably defined the second half of Wenger’s 22 year reign – appear to have been banished in a matter of three months by new manager Unai Emery.
Arsenal a Potential Value Bet
For Utd, on the other hand, the story could not be more different. José Mourinho is increasingly feeling the strain as his big name signings consistently fail to deliver, regardless of which permutation of players and formations he puts onto the field.
With the Reds languishing in seventh place, Mourinho has ruled out a top four finish this season – and a defeat may just see the United board executing through on Mourinho’s current status as the next premiership manager most likely for the chop.
For some, priced at 2/1 by most bookmakers, an Arsenal win appears to carry a ring of inevitability about it, and may represent value bet territory.
Whatever the outcome, both sides have played out the season so far with a disproportionate number of their games witnessing three goals or more. And with odds on a 3+ goal scenario with both teams scoring priced at around 5/6, bookmakers once again are looking over-exposed for tonight’s head-to-head.
[Manchester United vs. Arsenal, Kick-off: 8pm, SkySports]