BILLY BUNTER

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Man Utd v Arsenal

Football tips, best bets and predictions for Manchester United v Arsenal in the Premier League.

Where to watch
Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event, 8pm Monday

Best bet
Draw

Team news
Manchester United

Paul Pogba is a doubt while Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are expected to miss out. Luke Shaw has returned to training.

Arsenal
Dinos Mavropanos, Kieran Tierney, Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin are all back in contention. Alexandre Lacazette remains sidelined.

Match preview
Manchester United and Arsenal were the most successful teams in the early part of the Premier League era but they no long contend for elite prizes and may have to settle for a point at Old Trafford.

The season is less than two months old but the notion of United or Arsenal competing for the title already appears fanciful.

Lowered expectations mean that a top-four finish will be the main target and even that could prove beyond the reach of United, who have won just two of their last 11 Premier League matches.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is doing his best to remain positive but his players let him down when sliding to a miserable 2-0 defeat at West Ham last Sunday.

The Red Devils were desperately short of offensive quality at the London Stadium and are unlikely to be any stronger against the Gunners with injured strikers Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford expected to stay on the sidelines.

Jesse Lingard came off the bench to play as an auxiliary centre-forward against West Ham and may have to reprise the role, unless Solskjaer hands a first league start of the season to 17-year-old Mason Greenwood.

Paul Pogba could feature if he shakes off an ankle problem sustained against Rochdale on Wednesday but the biggest threat to Arsenal is likely to come from speedy winger Dan James, who has netted three goals in six Premier League appearances.

James has quickly won over the Old Trafford faithful and his pace could be a problem for Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles or Calum Chambers.

Arsenal had hoped that Hector Bellerin would be fit enough to step in but Unai Emery has suggested the Spanish international will be ready to play only a cameo role.

The rest of Arsenal's squad is looking reasonably healthy with returning left-back Kieran Tierney and centre-back Rob Holding increasing competition for places.

But the biggest barrier to winning at Old Trafford could be mental weakness.

The Londoners have not secured three points away to a big-six side in 23 attempts, dating back to a 2-0 success at Manchester City in January 2015, and have not won an away league contest against United since Emmanuel Adebayor's goal clinched a 1-0 triumph in September 2006.

It is not just at the big grounds where they struggle.

Their away record last season – seven wins, four draws and eight defeats – was the worst of the top six and there has been no obvious sign of improvement.

This season they started off with a welcome 1-0 win at Newcastle but they were swept aside 3-1 at Liverpool and were fortunate to draw 2-2 at Watford having allowed 31 shots, the highest of any Arsenal team since Opta started compiling statistics.

It might take just one big away performance and result to change the dynamic and set the Gunners up for a positive season.

However, the injury-hit hosts are likely to play with more intensity than they showed against West Ham and their industry may be enough to earn them a point.

Key stat
Arsenal have not won on their last 12 league visits to Old Trafford.

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Match in Focus

20:00 TODAY SKY

Sheff Utd v Arsenal

Home WinDrawAway Win
Key stats
  • Arsenal have won five of their last six matches
Expert verdict
Some Arsenal supporters are not happy with Unai Emery’s tactics but the Gunners are third in the Premier League after eight matches and can maintain their upward trajectory by beating Sheffield United. The visitors have lost only one match in all competitions this season and should continue to improve with Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney both fit again after injury. They haven’t always been brilliant but Arsenal tend to get the job done. Sheffield United held firm for 70 minutes against Liverpool and have proved hard to break down, but they have lost four of their last five home matches in all competitions.