By Bulldog Drummond
Man U’s away form puts them at number 8 in the away league with three wins, three draws, and four defeats.
It makes them pretty much as likely to get a win as a draw as a defeat – so in effect everything depends on the opposition, and the way the referee treats each side.
Here is Arsenal’s position in the home league table…
|9||Brighton and Hove Albion||10||4||3||3||14||11||3||15|
So Arsenal likewise are pretty much as likely to win as draw as lose. Which means that which team will win may well be be down to the referee. So looking at the referee table, we can see that Arsenal get more cards than are given against them while Man U get fewer cards than the opposition in games. And yet the clubs commit pretty much the same number of fouls.
So if this is an average game Arsenal will certainly be penalised far more than Manchester United.
|Team||Pld||Cards||Cards per game||Diff|
In short the prediction for this match is that the teams are fairly evenly matched, but based on this year’s refereeing experience Manchester United are much less likely to get fouls given against them and less likely to get yellow cards as a result of players’ fouling, than Arsenal. Thus Arsenal start with something of a mountain to climb.
It all means we start with a serious disadvantage.
Looking at December’s results we can see Man U taking advantage of the situation
|01 Dec 2019||Manchester United v Aston Villa||D||2-2||Premier League|
|04 Dec 2019||Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur||W||2-1||Premier League|
|07 Dec 2019||Manchester City v Manchester United||W||1-2||Premier League|
|12 Dec 2019||Manchester United v AZ Alkmaar||W||4-0||Europa League|
|15 Dec 2019||Manchester United v Everton||D||1-1||Premier League|
|18 Dec 2019||Manchester United v Colchester United||W||3-0||League Cup|
|22 Dec 2019||Watford v Manchester United||L||2-0||Premier League|
|26 Dec 2019||Manchester United v Newcastle United||W||4-1||Premier League|
|28 Dec 2019||Burnley v Manchester United||W||0-2||Premier League|
That makes it six wins, one defeat and two draws. However of the ten games only three have been away, and it was away to Watford than Man U suffered their defeat of the month.
Arsenal in contrast
|01 Dec 2019||Norwich City v Arsenal||D||2-2||Premier League|
|05 Dec 2019||Arsenal v Brighton and Hove Albion||L||1-2||Premier League|
|09 Dec 2019||West Ham United v Arsenal||W||1-3||Premier League|
|12 Dec 2019||Standard Liège v Arsenal||D||2-2||Europa League|
|15 Dec 2019||Arsenal v Manchester City||L||0-3||Premier League|
|21 Dec 2019||Everton v Arsenal||D||0-0||Premier League|
|26 Dec 2019||AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal||D||1-1||Premier League|
|29 Dec 2019||Arsenal v Chelsea||L||1-2||Premier League|
While Man U have had one defeat Arsenal have had just one win – and that was away to West Ham. In fact all three home games this month have been defeats.
Thus with the refereeing position not in our favour as well as current form being against us, this could well be a struggle with Arsenal picking up cards for fouls more readily, and simply lacking the confidence to get a win.
The refereeing of the last match is also likely still to be on Arsenal’s collective mindset. In fact the only thing going in Arsenal’s favour at the moment is that the crowd has not yet turned on Arteta.
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