Thoughts instantly turn back towards the previous Old Trafford fixture between the sides in the league, where an injury and crisis hit Arsenal were thumped 8-2 by the Red Devils, in what was one of the most extraordinary matches in Premier League history.
Pressure was mounting on the shoulders of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger following that defeat but he managed to steady the ship and qualify the club for the Champions League for the 15th consecutive season. However, the vultures around Wenger have been circling again in recent weeks.
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Back-to-back defeats against Norwich and German side Schalke in the Champions League brought forward questions regarding the state of the club under Wenger’s leadership but they have got back on the straight and narrow in the past week with wins over QPR in the league and Reading in the League Cup.
That Capital One Cup win came in sensational fashion as the Gunners came back from 4-0 down to miraculously win 7-5 after extra time.
Their defence will have to be a lot more assured this weekend though; otherwise that 8-2 score line from that corresponding fixture could be repeated by United. For punters that fancy a repeat, the 8-2 correct score can be backed at 500/1 (Ladbrokes).
For believers in Wenger’s philosophy, they may be interested in backing Arsenal to win this match at a tantalising 9/2 with Paddy Power.
United come into this match in good form in the league. They put in their best performance of the season thus far in their controversial 3-2 victory at Stamford Bridge over Chelsea. They seem to be coming to the boil at just the right time as the season approaches the all-important winter period.
And when Sir Alex Ferguson’s sides get on a roll they are very hard to stop. The 4/6 with Paddy Power available on a United home win seems very appealing when you consider the different form lines each side brings to the table. When assessing the goalscorer markets, Robin Van Persie is the absolute key to the way in which the market is shaped.
He has been all the rage in the build-up to the match to notch against the side that he spent seven years and scored 132 goals for.
Since joining the Red Devils he has arguably become their main man in attack, which has subsequently pushed United’s previous main goal threat Wayne Rooney into a deeper role.
The Dutchman, who signed for United for £24million, is the clear favourite to open the scoring in this encounter, and is as short as 9/2 with Paddy Power to do so. A far more secure wager looks be on Van Persie to score anytime.
He is currently a well-backed Evens with Ladbrokes to break Arsenal hearts by scoring at any point during the match. For those of the belief he is going to up his game against his former club, you may want to be pointed in the direction of the 20/1 on offer from Ladbrokes for him to score a hat-trick.
In comparison, Van Persie’s replacement at Arsenal Olivier Giroud hasn’t really even begun to start filling their former’s hero’s boots as his form up until now has been very sketchy.
He did however make a big impact off the bench against Reading in midweek and may be handed the striking role by Wenger. He is a 9/1 shot with Paddy Power to open the scoring and 11/4 shot to score anytime with the same firm.