Arsenal v Manchester United. On home / away form we are clear favourites.

By Bulldog Drummond

No sooner is one member of the “big six” swatted away with ease than up pops another one ready to be dealt with.   

But the big news is that Manchester United have finally got their new manager.  He is a Mr Erik ten Hag of Ajax.  This means that since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013, they have had and lost Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, and Ole Gunnar Solskjær, plus two caretakers and an interim manager.  Six managers in nine years.  In this time they have won the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Europa League.  Arsenal, by comparison, have won the FA Cup four times (to give us a grand total of 14) and been somewhat more restrained in their buying in of managers.  

But moving on to the present day, Arsenal are clear favourites based on the home and away performances of the two clubs this season.

Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
3 Arsenal home 16 10 2 4 25 14 11 32
8 Manchester United away 16 6 5 5 24 27 -3 23

And rather interestingly if we take the last 10 games played by each team, which of course includes Arsenal’s run of three successive defeats, we find that still, even with that run, Arsenal have gained three more points than Manchester United during this spell overall.

And indeed we also win on home v away games 

Pos Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 10 6 0 0 18 1 3 1 0 7 2 22 28
2 Tottenham Hotspur 10 3 0 1 13 3 4 0 2 15 6 19 21
3 Manchester City 10 3 1 1 13 6 3 2 0 8 1 14 21
4 Chelsea 10 2 0 2 6 8 4 1 1 15 3 10 19
5 Newcastle United 10 4 0 0 6 2 2 1 3 6 9 1 19
6 Arsenal 10 3 0 2 7 6 3 0 2 8 8 1 18
7 Brentford 10 2 1 1 4 2 3 0 3 11 9 4 16
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 10 3 0 2 10 7 2 0 3 4 4 3 15
9 Leicester City 10 3 1 0 7 4 1 2 3 6 8 1 15
10 West Ham United 10 4 2 0 8 4 0 1 3 3 8 -1 15
11 Manchester United 10 3 3 0 10 6 1 0 3 5 11 -2 15

What’s more, we also see that Manchester United have won only one and lost three of their last four away games, while Arsenal have won three and lost two of their last five home games.  A slight advantage to Arsenal in the recent games.

On the other hand, the fan base of Arsenal are clearly not fully convinced since on Thursday evening there were still plenty of tickets available for tomorrow’s game.  I don’t hope those hearty roughs from Cornwall and so forth, who support Manchester United, won’t be tempted to nick the “There’s nobody here” song.

But really the problem with Manchester United seems to be one of an ever-continuing belief in the entitlement of winning things.  In the last four seasons, they have come second twice, third and sixth.  They have been beaten finalists in the FA Cup and in the Europa League.  No trophies, but some close-run things.   And in response, they keep on changing their manager which, just like eternally buying new players, is never a guarantee of success.

As for injuries, we know that Kieran Tierney is out for the season, but Lacazette was back on the bench for the glorious victory in the week, so it will be a real managerial choice of whether to play Nketiah or Lacaz from the start.  Whichever it is the other will surely be used as a sub.

As for Takehiro Tomiyasu, the boss has said, “Tomiyasu is very, very close. We will decide today after the training session.”  But that is a decision on the squad, not on whether he starts, so I suspect he won’t be risked in this game.  But he could be back for the next.

The latest on Thomas Partey is that, “The news that we got after another assessment is not looking very positive for his availability this season. At the moment we’re not very optimistic.”

Manchester United on the other hand seem very profligate with injuries these days…

Edinson Cavani seems to be definitely out.  Along with Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba.  Mason Greenwood is still under arrest and charged with the most heinous of crimes.  Raphael Varane’s condition is uncertain – he was seen recently but apparently was just working with the rehab coaches, nothing more.



6 Replies to “Arsenal v Manchester United. On home / away form we are clear favourites.”

  1. I would prefer to avoid optimistic predictions for any fixture.

    I believe that we are capable of beating any team and that we are undoubtedly better than Manchester United. Unfortunately, as recent events have reminded us, anything can go wrong on the day against any opponent. Let us also not forget the well established pro-Man. Utd sympathies of match officials, coupled with the belief that they won’t be as bad again as they were against Liverpool.

    I approach all our games with hope rather than expectation.

  2. John L

    “I would prefer to avoid optimistic predictions for any fixture”.

    Same here.

    You may of seen a series of posts from me showing my age old, tried and trusted means of showing where we need and should pick up points if we are to achieve top 4. It’s not an exact science but by and large if we pickup the amount of points anticipated we should be okay for 4th.

    Unfortunately we have failed to do that and have therefore put ourselves in a tricky situation. But fortunately none of the other teams vying for a top 4 spot have achieved as many points as my system said they should either so it’s nothing like as bad as it could of been.

    It’s a system that stresses ‘requirements’ or what we ‘should’ be able to achieve, based on where our opponent sits in the table, and NOT a prediction.

    As such my system says, based on United’s position in the league, we should be able to get 3 points at home to United with little trouble. But am I confident we will do that? No I am not.

    The truth is I am, and have always been very much like you. Hopeful rather than expectant. I cant help it. In life as a rule I am quite an optimist. But with football, I’m a confirmed pessimist.

    Even when we are 3 – 0 up with 5 minutes to go I’m still pacing up and down fearing the worst. I cant help myself.

    So when it comes to the weekend, of course I’m not positive. IT’S MAN UTD. In fact, it’s a football match !!

    And as you suggest, the omens aren’t good either.

    -New Manager appointed. Even though he’s not actually present it’s still a psychological boost for players and fans alike.

    -Surely they cant play as bad as they did against Liverpool again ?

    -The man in black. Well despite the fact I don’t believe they get anything like the favours they used to when Fergie ran the refs from his little black book, when it comes to them and us I know to which side they will lean.

    -Luck, or lack of. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what we do when it comes to United things just don’t go our way. I remember vividly a 1-2 home defeat a decade or so ago when we had over 20 shots on there goal. We absolutely over ran them. They manged ONE shot on target and still scored 2 goals, one of them being an OG.

    Over all we should win but I just cant help fearing the worst.

  3. Sadly they have put the dodgy Aussie chap in the VAR cubicle. His record where we are concerned is dismal. For example he found the ‘Foul’ by Callum Chambers v Palace to dissallow what would have been a winning goal. I’m sure there are others.

  4. markyb

    Been back and had a look because I thought I remembered something being said at the time and I found this in the post match debate, so I think it was him:


    1 January 2022 at 8:28 PM

    When Riley selects the Aussie cheat to man VAR and then swaps the selected piggy in the middle, it is obvious that the match is manipulated….

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