Premier League Betting Odds for the EPL Game of the Week
Ed Woodward gave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a vote of confidence, but it may be fair to wonder if it is also the kiss of death.
After a near shock elimination in the Carabao Cup, Manchester United look to gain their bearings Monday when they face rivals Arsenal at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer came under fire after United – who are +130 favorites to win this match according to Fan Duel’s Sports Book – turned in a listless performance last weekend in a 2-0 loss at West Ham United. The defeat extended the Red Devils’ winless run on the road in league play to seven matches (0-3-4) and dropped them to 4-4-7 over their last 15 overall – a run that started with a 2-0 loss at the Emirates to Arsenal on March 10.
The grousing has come due to an offence – admittedly missing injured playmaker Paul Pogba and pacy forward Anthony Martial – that has scored just four goals in their last five league contests after opening the season with a comprehensive 4-0 thrashing of Chelsea.
Woodward, United’s chairman who has occasionally polarized supporters, gave a full public endorsement of Solskjaer on Tuesday, claiming the team had “building blocks for success” after their summer signings of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James, and Harry Maguire in addition to extending No. 1 keeper David De Gea through 2023 last week with a reported pay packet of £350,000 per week.
All those things, though, mattered not a whit to Rochdale at Old Trafford on Wednesday, with the League One side leveling the match on 76 minutes through 16-year-old Luke Matheson. United (2-2-2) would eventually squeeze through on penalties, with de Gea’s deputy Sergio Romero the hero after saving an attempt by Jimmy Keohane in the second round.
Injuries to Big Name Players are Causing the EPL Odds to Fluctuate
Pogba made his first start in nearly a month after missing time with a hamstring injury and played the full 90 minutes, raising hopes he will at least be available for this contest in some capacity. Martial could make his return Monday, entering as first-choice striker Marcus Rashford has already been ruled out with a groin injury.
Left back Luke Shaw continues to recover from a hamstring injury, but Mason Greenwood, who scored the match-winner in United’s win over Astana in their Europa League bow, should be available after making a late substitute appearance versus Rochdale. The teen starlet missed the West Ham loss due to a bout of tonsillitis.
Arsenal (3-2-1) are currently occupying a spot in the table all too familiar to their supporters – fourth – but they come to Old Trafford +190 underdogs and in a positive frame of mind with three wins on the bounce in all competitions. The Gunners also opened their Europa League campaign with a victory and also eased through to the round of 16 in the Carabao Cup with a 5-0 waxing of Nottingham Forest on Tuesday, earning a date with Liverpool at Anfield next month.
Gunners boss Unai Emery was forced into wholesale changes playing on a 48-hour turnaround after rallying from a pair of one-goal deficits to defeat Aston Villa 3-2 on Sunday, but 18-year-old Gabrielle Martinelli had a brace on either side of halftime in his first competitive start.
Arsenal also had some welcome sights on their back line as both Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding made returns from lengthy spells due to injury, with Bellerin back after a ninth-month absence and setting up Willock’s goal, and Holding scoring on his return after missing 10 months with a knee injury.
Kieran Tierney, a £25 million summer signing from Celtic, also made his debut and impressed at left back with his marauding runs forward. All three could feature in this match, which would be a huge help to Emery as Arsenal have shipped 10 goals in their last five league contests.
Arsenal have just one victory in their last 16 visits (1-4-11) to “The Theatre of Dreams” but did notch a 2-2 draw last season. The Gunners are 0-4-8 in their last 12 league matches at Old Trafford since Emmanuel Adebayor’s goal in the 85th minute separated the sides in a 1-0 victory in 2006.