The headline match of the fourth round of the FA Cup takes place on Friday night at 7.55pm on BBC1, with Arsenal hosting Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium.
United trail Arsenal 13 to 12 in FA Cup Finals won and, as they fluffed a chance to draw level last year, new United manager Ole Gunner Solskjaer looks sure to field a strong side in his quest for a trophy.
Unai Emery has big boots to fill too, with predecessor Arsene Wenger in charge for seven of Arsenal’s FA Cup Final victories, and he also looks sure to field his strongest side possible.
As both teams have new managers at the helm, past results between the two sides probably count for nothing, and an analysis of the two teams’ performances under their new managers can hopefully shed some light on where our money should go this Friday.
United Under Solskjaer
United have played with passion under Solskjaer, the kind of passion that the United team showed when he was a player. It’s been a refreshing change to watch after the mundane Mourinho tactics, especially with young England starlet Marcus Rashford set loose in the centre-forward role.
It hasn’t always been pretty. Tottenham laid siege to Manchester United’s goal for the last half an hour of their match at Wembley, but that 1-0 win completed a run of three clean sheets for United. That followed Solskjaer’s first three games in charge in which United scored 12 goals but conceded in each of those matches.
There were plenty of pundits that thought United should have beat Brighton easier than 2-1 in their last match, but an in-form Brighton side was a potential banana skin that Solskjaer avoided slipping on.
In all for Solskjaer, it’s seven wins from seven matches, with 19 goals scored and just four goals conceded.
Arsenal’s Home Record Under Emery
Arsenal have been a bit hit and miss of late, but they’ve not been beaten at home in the Premier League since their opening fixture against Manchester City, with nine wins and two draws.
However, they did lose 2-0 at home to Tottenham in the Carabao Cup, despite coming from 2-1 behind to win 4-2 at home against Tottenham in the Premier League. Their other home matches against top-six sides include a 2-0 win over Chelsea and a 1-1 draw with Liverpool.
Despite five high-scoring games, which have produced between four goals and six goals, seven of Arsenal’s 12 Premier League home games this season have produced less than three goals.
More significantly, all four of Arsenal’s five home games against top-six opposition have produced two goals or less.
Arsenal vs Manchester United Best Bets
Trying to pick the winner of this match is a tough call, but a bet on the over/under goals market could be the way forward. The bookies are going odds-against less than 2.5 goals but, with Arsenal’s five home matches against top-six opposition this season ending 2-0, 1-1, 4-2, 0-2, and 2-0, less than 2.5 goals looks the value-bet.
If you fancy a bet on an Arsenal player to score at any time, then Alexandre Lacazette could be the man. He’s scored in three of Arsenal’s home games against top-six opposition and offers a bit of value at odds-against.
However, if you fancy backing a United player to score, it could be worth chancing Anthony Martial. The young Frenchman has scored four times against top-six opposition this season and again looks value to add to his tally.
Arsenal vs Manchester United Free Tips
Tip #1: Under 2.5 Goals
@ 2.30 BetVictor, Marathon
Tip #2: Alexandre Lacazette To Score At Anytime
@ 2.50 10Bet, SportPesa, Betway
Tip #3: Anthony Martial To Score At Anytime
@ 2.87 Bet365, Unibet, Boylesports, Betway