Having won their opening two games with relative ease, Manchester United have got to be considered favourites in their clash with Arsenal, especially as the Gunners look to be all over the place at the moment.
After coming from two goals behind to pip local rivals City to the Community Shield trophy, United produced an under-par performance at the Hawthorns, but still managed to record an opening win.
Despite the absence of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men hammered Tottenham at Old Trafford last week and are now brimming with confidence before the Arsenal game.
Having won six out of their last seven home games with Arsenal, it is little wonder United are 1.53 (8/15) favourites to win this game.
Sir Alex Ferguson is hoping to have Rio Ferdinand available after missing the Tottenham game with a hamstring problem, but Nemanja Vidic and Rafael da Silva are definitely out.
Javier Hernandez returned into action last weekend against Tottenham, but he is unlikely to start with Danny Welbeck in such a good form, whereas Darren Fletcher is stepping up his fitness following the lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): De Gea – Smalling, Evans, Jones, Evra – Cleverley, Anderson – Nani, Rooney, Young – Welbeck.
This match comes at the worst possible time for Arsenal as with all departures, injuries and suspensions, Arsene Wenger is likely to have big problems fielding a decent starting line-up.
Following some very disappointing displays in the first three games of the season, Arsenal somehow managed to win in Udinese and thus ensured their place in the Champions League group stages.
However, that will be little comfort for the Gunners if they continue playing like this, as witnessed by their home defeat to Liverpool.
Arsene Wenger’s men need to show some improvement if they are to rescue this season, but it looks as though the Gunners will have to wait some more before recording a morale boosting win.
As if Wenger didn’t have enough problems in midfield after Fabregas and Nasri left, he enters this match without injured Jack Wilshire and suspended Alex Song and Emmanuel Frimpong too.
To add insult to injury, Gervinho is also banned, while Thomas Vermaelen faces a late fitness test. Gibbs and Diaby continue to miss out.
Taking all this into consideration, Arsenal don’t look capable of avoiding defeat at Old Trafford, but with Vidic and Ferdinand likely to miss out, they could definitely score a goal, so odds of 1.95 (19/20) offered on both teams to score look too good to pass.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Szczesny – Sagna, Djourou, Vermaelen, Jenkinson – Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Rosicky – Walcott, Van Persie, Arshavin.