Red Devils to Complete the Double Over Gunners
Manchester City have won the Premier League but there is still plenty to be decided for the other teams in the division. City rivals, Manchester United, are in a battle with Liverpool for second place, while Arsenal are fighting the lowly fight for 6th place with Burnley. The Gunners face an all-important Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid this week and sandwiched in-between is a rather unwelcome trip to Old Trafford to take on the Red Devils. That Sunday match is the highlight of the Premier League betting preview as we pick out the best bets in the English top-flight this weekend.
It’s a fixture that couldn’t come at a worse time for Arsene Wenger as he tries to draw a positive ending to his long tenure at the North London club. The Europa League is without doubt the priority. Not only does it offer the chance to win a European trophy, it also presents the opportunity to qualify for next year’s Champions League. Arsenal cannot realistically achieve that feat via league position so the two legs against Atletico Madrid can be considered much more important. Manchester United have no such European distractions, and after booking a place in this year’s FA Cup final by beating Spurs last week, they will have more preparation time as well as home advantage in their favour on Sunday.
Arsenal’s surprise rivals for a top six place are Burnley, who have had a remarkable season this term. Already on a record 53 points, Sean Dyche’s side can draw to within one point of Arsenal if they win at home against Brighton on Saturday afternoon. The Seagulls still need points to ensure Premier League survival but with a healthy seven-point lead over Southampton and Stoke, look highly likely to avoid relegation this term. Recent form hasn’t been good for Chris Hughton’s men though, and they come up against a strong outfit in Burnley.
Southampton are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table and remain four points adrift of Swansea and safety. The Saints play host to South coast rivals Bournemouth on Saturday in a game where they desperately need three points. With 38 points, Eddie Howe’s Cherries are as good as safe and will relish the chance to hammer a nail into Southampton’s coffin.
Manchester United v Arsenal
The headline bet this weekend is on Manchester United to win and both teams to score at an attractive 3.1 with Betway.
As mentioned, this is not a game that Arsene Wenger and Arsenal would have wanted right in the middle of their Europa League semi-final, and although pride plays a part, the Gunners are likely to rest players with next week’s second leg in mind. The other big story of the match is the possibility of Alexis Sanchez facing his former club. Previously an arsenal hero, Sanchez has endured a mixed start to his Old Trafford career, but was in fine form as he helped his new side defeat Spurs in last week’s FA Cup semi-final.
Mourinho’s side have been largely successful on home soil this term, with a 14-2-2 record from 18 matches, and United beat Arsenal 3-1 at the Emirates back in December. They’ve won 8 of the last 10 at Old Trafford – the only defeats a shock 1-0 loss to West Brom and that damaging 2-1 reverse to Sevilla in the Champions League. United are expected to be fully wound up for this game as they try to maintain their second place position over bitter rivals, Liverpool.
For their part, Arsenal have a decent record away at Manchester United. The Gunners have only lost one of the last four at Old Trafford and have scored on each occasion. They ran out 4-1 winners against West Ham in the Premier League last week but it was a strangely subdued atmosphere as the first game after the announcement of Wenger’s retirement, and relied upon three late goals to make the result safe. Arsenal have lost six and drawn two of the last ten away games, with the only victories coming in Europa League road trips at Ostersunds and AC Milan.
Burnley v Brighton
Burnley have consistently made us a profit this season and consistently been underestimated by the bookmakers. Take the 2.25 on offer with BetVictor about a home victory on Saturday.
The Clarets won five on the spin before a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea and followed that up by fighting back for a point at struggling Stoke last time out. Back on home turf against an inferior side they can get back on the winning trail. Prior to the home defeat against Chelsea, Burnley hit successive 2-1 wins over Leicester and Everton – results which read well in the context of this game.
Brighton are without a win in ten Premier League away matches and have lost the last three on the road at Everton, Manchester United and Crystal Palace. They face both Manchester clubs and Liverpool in their final three fixtures so will be desperate to get something out of this game, but may end up looking over their shoulders for the rest of the season.
Southampton v Bournemouth
Finally, over 2.5 goals looks a solid bet at 1.78 with 888Sport when Southampton and Bournemouth meet for a South coast derby.
Saints badly need a victory here and will be prepared to throw caution to the wind in search of three points. Mark Hughes will hope that recent form improves because the new manager only has an FA Cup win over Wigan and a 0-0 draw at Leicester to show for his efforts in six games so far. Four of those six have seen three or more goals and it could be a similar story on Saturday.
Bournemouth are no strangers to high-scoring games and have earned plaudits for their tendency to go toe-to-toe with anyone. Both teams have scored in 8 of their last 10 matches and only two of those have had under 2.5 goals. They will be happy to exploit any spaces left by an attacking Southampton side, and will enjoy the opportunity to help condemn their close rivals to relegation.
Manchester United to win and both teams to score
Sunday 29th April, 16:30 GMT
Burnley to beat Brighton
Saturday 28th April, 15:00 GMT
Southampton v Bournemouth – Over 2.5 goals
Saturday 28th April, 15:00 GMT
- Manchester United
- Premier League