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Be wary of under-strength United

Be wary of under-strength United

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This fixture always has an edge to it and, with both sides chasing a top-four finish, there should be some added spice for the meeting of Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium.

However, the visitors are also chasing a Champions League spot via the Europa League route and Jose Mourinho vowed to rest players this weekend, following a 1-0 semi-final first leg win away to Celta Vigo.

That could and should hand an advantage to the Gunners, who need a perfect end to the season to overtake both United and Manchester City to claim a top-four place.

Both of those factors point to a home win on Sunday afternoon, so 17/2 for a 2-0 Arsenal win appears to be worth a good look.

However, with the Londoners never the most secure side at the back, a home win and both teams to score at 27/10 is another option which catches the eye.

Arsene Wenger’s side should also be highly motivated to make up for a very poor display in a 2-0 derby loss at Tottenham last time out, so Arsenal to win by 1 goal at 11/5 demands some attention.

United will head to north London without some key players, unless boss Mourinho is pulling something of a fast one, but his well-known rivalry with Wenger will ensure that whatever side he puts out will be highly motivated.

Goals may be the issue for the visitors, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic already ruled out for the season and Marcus Rashford one of the players who could be sat out.

That could mean a return to centre stage for Wayne Rooney, who is 15/2 to score the first goal of the game and 29/10 to score at any time.

Anthony Martial may also be given a more central role in attack, so 7/2 to score at any time for the Frenchman is another option.

Also worth bearing in mind is the fact that United have lost just one of their last five league visits to the Emirates, claiming two wins and two draws.

So, despite a probable less than full-strength line-up, they will still prove difficult to beat, especially as they defend an unbeaten league run which stretches all the way back to October.

Therefore, don’t be put off by the visitors at 29/10 to win the game, although goals may be at a premium, so 10/1 for a 1-0 victory for United could offer some value.

This fixture always has an edge to it and, with both sides chasing a top-four finish, there should be some added spice for the meeting of Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium.

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Adrian Mills Adrian has enjoyed a journalistic career spanning over three decades, with cricket his specialised topic. He also has a wealth of knowledge on football, golf and tennis and has the stats to back up his betting advice.