Arsenal vs. Manchester United, Sunday 10th Match, 16:30
It’s now W14-D2-L1 under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, including nine wins on the bounce away from home as we’ve netted at least three times in over half of these trips (averaging 2.6 goals per game).
Such momentum is hard to argue with and having only failed to net more than once at Leicester, we’d expect a minimum of two strikes.
However, although we’ve kept clean sheets in victories at Spurs and Chelsea, as well as in a goalless stalemate hosting Liverpool, we wouldn’t be entirely sure of the shut out having conceded in the 3-1 FA Cup win over the Gunners in January.
That means nine of 11 head-to-head meetings since 2014/15 have seen both teams find the net.
Solskjaer hasn’t been dogmatic in his formation selection having switched between 4-3-3, the midfield diamond and the 4-2-3-1 depending on what players he’s had and what the opponents’ weaknesses demand.
The FA Cup win over Arsenal saw him utilize the diamond, with Romelu Lukaku working the right channel to exploit the spaces left behind by Sead Kolasinac’s forward forays.
The Gunners are less dangerous in attack when they fail to get their full-backs bombing forwards, and the ever-eager Marcus Rashford can be expected to harry and hustle the left channel too.
Eric Bailly was the latest to add himself to the list of casualties midweek, with the knock that saw him replaced after just 36 minutes turning out to be a blessing in disguise after being handed a torrid time by Angel Di Maria.
Injury problems remain severe and see no signs of abating, though with Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku in such fine form, as well as the return to the starting line-up of the previously suspended Paul Pogba, there can be confidence that a similar team to the one put out midweek can down an Arsenal side with a day less to rest up following their own European road trip.
Meanwhile, the Gunners have their own issues at the back as they’re missing defensive midfielder Lucas Torreira, as well as long-term absentees Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin in defence, while it remains to be seen if Stephan Lichtsteiner recovers in time having missed last weeks’ game with Spurs and failed to travel with the Gunners’ squad to France for Thursday’s clash.
Backing Romelu Lukaku has proven profitable in recent weeks and the Belgian is bang in form.
Against a poor Arsenal defence further depleted by injuries, we’d expect the number nine to put himself about and wreak havoc once more.
We’ve won three of four unbeaten matches against Arsenal since the start of last season have and the scorelines have been 3-1, 2-1, 2-2 and 3-1.
With that in mind, the enhanced odds on offer surrounding Lukaku to score and a few potential correct scores appeals greatly.