FA Cup 4th Round Arsenal v Manchester United: Can the Gunners Stop a Resurgent United?

arsenalFollowing comfortable wins against League One side Blackpool and the Championship’s Reading respectively, the Fourth Round draw of the FA Cup has pitted the two most successful clubs in the history of the competition together as Arsenal host Manchester United in the undoubted ‘tie of the round’ at the Emirates Stadium on Friday evening – kick: off 19:55 GMT.

With 25 FA Cup titles between the two clubs (Arsenal 13, Manchester United 12), this contest promises to be one of the classic ties, under the lights and in front of a national television audience.

It Is almost 31 years since the two teams met in an FA Cup tie at the home ground of Arsenal, when the Gunners prevailed 2-1, after a late penalty miss from United’s Brian McClair in an attempt to force a replay. The most recent meeting between the two teams saw the exact same result as former United striker, Danny Welbeck fired in the decisive goal in a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford to send Arsenal to the FA Cup Semi Finals back in March 2015.

This fixture will be a welcome respite from the Premier League, with both clubs locked in a battle with Tottenham and Chelsea for the Champions League placings.

Who will prevail in this tie? Read on for our thoughts on this hugely important cup battle.

Match Odds

The bookmaking fraternity are having some difficulty in deciding on their choice to win this game with such narrow betting margins. Arsenal are currently installed as the favourites to prevail at best available odds at the time of writing of 8/5 with Betfred and Betway.

An indication of the closeness for the betting for this game is that United are as short as 13/8 to bag their eighth consecutive victory in all competitions in North London, however, you can improve on that slightly by taking odds of 17/10 with Unibet and 888Sport on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men getting the win. The draw is available, again with Unibet at a price of 13/5.

United are unbeaten in their last three meetings between the two teams, with the most recent battle ending in a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford last month. United also won their last trip to the Emirates with a 3-1 Premier League win last season. The Gunners will also be high on confidence following their decisive 2-0 home win over Chelsea last weekend and that makes it even more difficult to determine the winner of the tie.

Considering the tight nature of the betting, the draw could be the play in this fixture despite both teams neither wishing for a stalemate and an extra game. Both teams will show obvious attacking intent, but a replay could well be the value call here from a punting perspective.

Individual Goal Scorers

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

This is a market in which to tread carefully before betting. The best advice in this particular market is to check the Team News for the game under one hour before kick-off before placing any wagers. Both sides are likely to make changes from their recent Premier League team sheets. If your chosen player is not on the field when the opening goal is scored, your bet will be refunded, however.

With 14 Premier League goals already to his name, former Borussia Dortmund striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the bookmakers’ favourite to open the scoring in this game at a best-priced 9/2 chance with Betway. The 29-year-old is in fine form, and is an obvious contender for First Goalscorer calculations if given a start by Arsenal boss, Unai Emery.

My beliefs are that United will make changes to their starting line-up following the recent 2-1 Premier League home victory over Brighton. One player in particular who is likely to start is former Arsenal forward, Alexis Sanchez, who has yet to truly perform at his best level in a United shirt following his 2018 January transfer move. The Chilean is a best priced 7/1 chance with Black Type and 888 Sport to haunt his former club.

A couple of others to throw into the mix for First Goalscorer calculations include Manchester United’s Paul Pogba – who has found a new lease of life under new boss Solskjaer. At 15/2 with Betway, he’s one to keep onside.

Mesut Ozil could return to the Arsenal team on Friday evening and the classy German attacker is a standout price of 12/1 with 888 Sport and Unibet to bag the opening goal, with other firms quoting single-figure prices.

Other Side Bets

manchester unitedI can only see goals in this game. Arsenal have failed to score in just two of their previous 17 home competitive matches and United have won the first half in six of their last seven outings, which highlights my thought process. The odds of 8/15 with the likes of William Hill and Sport Pesa are very short on Both Teams to Score, but it seems very likely that each team will find the net in this game.

If our previous prediction of a drawn outcome at full time is to be correct, then we can couple that bet with Both Teams to Score at a price of 16/5 with Ladbrokes and Coral. These two teams love to attack and are well matched in my opinion, so this particular selection is worthy of interest.

Our Correct Score offering is for an entertaining 2-2 draw. This outcome can be taken at the best industry price of 11/ with 188Bet.

Best Bets:

  • Both Teams to Score in the Match at 8/15 with William Hill
  • Full-Time Result Draw and Both Teams to Score at 16/5 with Ladbrokes
  • Arsenal 2-2 Manchester United Correct Score bet at 11/1 with 188Bet
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