Arsenal carry the Premier League’s only perfect record north to Old Trafford for a showpiece Premier League showdown with Erik ten Hag’s improving Manchester United on Sunday. The Gunners have been unloading with both barrels since the summer, though a test with a Red Devils side building resistance should be a stiff test of Arsenal’s progress.
If you’re looking to place a bet builder on this game, you’re in luck. This pack has tons of stats for goals, shots, corners and cards in one easy-to-read article.
Most observers expected Erik ten Hag to rotate his team for Thursday’s game against Leicester, especially with Casemiro waiting in the wings for a first start, though the Dutchman has been reluctant to shuffle his pack in a bid to avoid tampering with a winning formula.
A Europa League tie on the horizon against Real Sociedad next Thursday could provide an opportunity to mix things up, so expect to see the same XI rolled out against Arsenal.
Key Arsenal trio Oleksandr Zinchenko, Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale will all be determined to shake off knocks in time to feature at Old Trafford.
Thomas Partey is expected to miss out, though Albert Sambi Lokonga filled the void well in the Gunners’ 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Wednesday and the Belgian should deputise again on Sunday.
Manchester United have been making baby steps under Erik ten Hag and though their performances have passed the eye test in terms of endeavour and spirit, their underlying numbers continue to underwhelm. Their xG against p/90 (1.28) is higher than their xG for (1.04), while their shots (14.6), shots on target (4.40) and corners against (4.6) figures all dwarf the team’s respective outputs at the opposite end.
In contrast to their hosts, Arsenal’s stats line up well with their superb sequence of early victories. The Gunners have the Premier League’s third-best xG numbers p/90 (2.10), though they are the division’s best performers defensively in the xGA stakes (0.64)
Arsenal’s fixture list has perhaps been on the kind side, however, they face Man Utd, Tottenham and Liverpool inside their next five assignments. Their stats could make for interesting reading after that run.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Summer capture Christian Eriksen has come close to netting his first goal for United on several occasions this season and if he can maintain his impressive shot averages (1.02 shots on target, 2.25 shots), that duck breaker should arrive soon. Cristiano Ronaldo – often maligned for his selfishness in the final third – is positioned near the top for shots per 90 despite starting just once (vs Brentford).
Gabriel Jesus is already shaping up to be one of the signings of the season and his impact is reflected in his excellent attempts figures in the attacking third. The Brazilian is averaging 3.77 shots per 90 minutes, 1.47 of which have hit the target. His partners in crime, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard, also carry plenty of threat.
Player Goals and Assists
United, who are averaging just 1.0 goal per game, haven’t really kicked into gear as an attacking force under Erik ten Hag. Jadon Sancho’s winner against Leicester on Thursday thrust the winger out on his own as the club’s leading marksman (2), though United need much more from Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes in particular.
Arsenal are the Premier League’s third-highest scorers after five games and they registered a full eight more goals than United. The Gunners’ haul has been well split, with Jesus, Martinelli and Odegaard lodging three goals each. Ex-City star Jesus is also the team’s most potent creative force with three assists.
Manchester United Cards
Manchester United have been the Premier League’s most ill-disciplined side this season and the three bookings they collected against Leicester on Thursday brought their tally up to 17 for the campaign. Scott McTominay (3.18 fouls, 3 cards) has been reborn as a destroyer under ten Hag, while Diogo Dalot (1.84 fouls, 3 cards) is fond of a shirt tug when beaten on the flank.
Three of Arsenal’s pacey front four feature heavily in their list of most fouled players this season. Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Sako have all been stopped in their tracks 2.5 times p/90 on average. That spells trouble for both Diogo Dalot and Tyrell Malacia on Sunday.
Match-Ups to watch
Diogo Dalot vs Gabriel Martinelli
Tyrell Malacia vs Bukayo Saka
Scott McTominay vs Gabriel Jesus
Gabriel Jesus (2 bookings) has been making life uncomfortable for defenders in more ways than one this season and the attacker is averaging a notably high 2.08 fouls p/90. £50m defender Ben White (2 cards) has also been instructed to do some damage on turnovers, so keep an eye on him if and when United try to spring forward from deep.
Casemiro should be a foul winning-machine once he gets fully acclimatised and up to speed in the Premier League, though it’s possible he doesn’t start again on Sunday. Swedish youngster Anthony Elanga (fouled 1.67 times p/90) is blessed with searing pace and fullbacks often try to cut him down before he builds up a head of steam.
Match-Ups to watch:
Gabriel Jesus vs Lisandro Martinez
Ben White vs Anthony Elanga
William Saliba vs Bruno Fernandes
What a game we have in store here, and hopefully a frantic one for the bet builders.
Good luck, I’ll be waiting for those winning slips. Remember to keep stakes low, and if you’ve already broken this weekend’s budget, don’t feel like you need to place another bet.