Arsenal’s early-season struggles effectively eliminated the club from the Premier League title race. But, the Gunners can still play a part in determining who walks away with the trophy, starting with a Saturday match against Manchester United at Emirates Stadium.
United comes into the game as a slight +145 favorite over Arsenal (+190), according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Resurgent Arsenal Could Sink Reeling Man United
Arsenal may not have a realistic path to the Premier League title, but the club has turned things around in recent weeks. The Gunners have won four of their last five to climb into ninth place on the table: shockingly low for a modern Arsenal side, but a sign that Mikel Arteta’s squad has turned things around and may yet contend for a European position by season’s end.
“They have been impressive lately,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told reporters when speaking of Arsenal. “Since the Chelsea game they have got really good results.”
Meanwhile, Man United has managed to largely stay in touch with their rivals, Manchester City, in the race for the EPL crown. United was holding its own in the battle for the league lead until it suffered a shocking 2-1 loss to Sheffield United on Wednesday. Now, City is a point up and also holds a game in hand while riding a seven-match winning streak in league play.
|Premier League Odds – Saturday Matches (via FanDuel Sportsbook)|
|Everton: -175||Draw: +290||Newcastle: +550|
|West Brom: +230||Draw: +210||Fulham: +130|
|Man City: -850||Draw: +800||Sheffield United: +2200|
|Crystal Palace: +195||Draw: +200||Wolves: +160|
|Arsenal: +185||Draw: +240||Manchester United: +145|
|Southampton: +185||Draw: +260||Aston Villa: +135|
That run of form made United’s midweek loss to Sheffield all the more painful, as the Red Devils can’t afford to drop points right now, especially to the Premier League bottom feeders.
“It has been made a lot of because it was top vs. bottom, but that is the Premier League,” Solskjaer said. “We are disappointed of course, but when you don’t hit your level, you are asking for a tough game.”
Arteta: Fernandes ‘Best Player in the League’
Arsenal could smell blood in the water after United’s stunning defeat. But, Arteta has made it clear that he still respects United. In particular, he has heaped praise on midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who has scored 11 times and added seven assists in league play this season.
“You look at the stats and what he provides to the team and it is unquestionable that he has improved them dramatically, and for many periods he has been the best player in the league probably,” Arteta told reporters. “The impact he’s had has been tremendous.”
While United takes its chances at Arsenal, City gets its own turn to take on last-placed Sheffield. While Sheffield is riding high after its victory over United, that was also only the club’s second win of the season, and it could be in for a rough time at the Etihad. FanDuel rates City as a -850 favorite while offering +2200 odds on Sheffield making it two wins in a row over Manchester opponents.