Arsenal’s coaching wheel continues to spin, as no one has been able to take this storied club back to its previous heights. Arsene Wenger and the club unceremoniously split at the end of the 2017-18 campaign, and former Paris Saint-Germain manager Unai Emery was unable to turn things around after a little more than a year on the job. Former captain Freddie Ljungberg took over on an interim basis after Emery was sacked in late November, and he was removed from that position and replaced by Mikel Arteta when Arsenal continued to slide. Arteta will be on the sidelines as Arsenal’s manager for the fourth time on Wednesday, yet he is still looking for his first victory. It’s unlikely he gets his first win against Manchester United though.
Don't miss the English Premier League action from Emirates Stadium in London, England at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 1, 2020. Catch every moment of the match live on NBCSN.
EPL Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
Arsenal FC +168
Manchester United +150
Manchester United was at a fork in the road with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earlier in the season. The Red Devils were in 14th place more than two months into the campaign with a 2-4-3 record through nine games, but they stayed the course and have been rewarded for their faith. This team has taken off since that point with only one loss since early November, rising to fifth place in the table with 31 points.
Although Manchester United have lost on the road against minnows like Bournemouth and Watford, the Red Devils have continually proven that they can play with the best in England. The Red Devils were the one team to take points from Liverpool, earning a draw at home against the Reds, and they knocked off Spurs and Manchester City within four days of one another earlier in the month.
Arsenal’s season has run opposite to Manchester United for the first half of the campaign. The Gunners were in third place in the table through eight games, losing just once in that stretch. However, they have just one win since that point, and they are currently in 12th place in the table. This could be the first time since the 1994-95 season that Arsenal finishes outside the top ten.
The Gunners’ lone victory in that stretch was a road win against West Ham United. They are 1-6-5 in their last 12 league matches, and Arsenal have lost its last three home games. Their last game at the Emirates was the most heart wrenching with Chelsea scoring twice in the final eight minutes of regulation to steal three points.
Scott McTominay is expected to miss at least one more month with a knee injury, but he is the only extended injury concern for Manchester United. Eric Bertrand Bailly, Marcos Rojo, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, and Axel Tuanzebe have all been ruled out for this game, but all four players could be available for Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Wolverhampton.
Kieran Tierney won’t be available for a few months for Arsenal, and Calum Chambers and Sead Kolasinac are both expected to miss at least the next month too. Sokratis Papastathopoulos will be sidelined due to a concussion, while Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding are doubtful. The news is more positive with Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos, and Gabriel Martinelli though, as all three players are questionable.
Matchup to Watch
Marcus Rashford and Manchester United will carve up Arsenal’s beleaguered back line. This unit is ravaged by injury, and the Gunners are allowing 1.5 goals per game. David Luiz is no longer a top quality center back, and the loss of Chambers could prove devastating with Sokratis out.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
The Red Devils should score multiple goals in a relatively easy win against flat lining Arsenal.
English Premier League Odds: Manchester United 2, Arsenal 1
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