EPL Predictions: My Best Bet for Arsenal vs. Manchester United

min read
Arsenal's Bukayo Saka, right, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Fulham at Emirates stadium in London, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023.
(Frank Augstein/AP Photo)
Nick Hennion @nickhennion Aug 30, 2023, 2:26 PM
  • Favorites Arsenal seeking third win in first four games.
  • Manchester United owns 1-3-7 (W-D-L) record in the last 11 matches vs. Big Six.
  • Last season, Arsenal won 3-2 at the Emirates after losing 3-1 at Old Trafford.

It’s a Premier League match ripe with European implications as Arsenal welcomes Manchester United Sunday at 11:30 a.m. ET. 

Through three matches, manager Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal sits on seven points. Two wins against Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace set the early pace before a disappointing 2-2 draw last weekend against Fulham. 

Regarding Manchester United, the early goings have proved chaotic. 

Matchday 1 against Wolves saw United earn all three points despite operating as the inferior side. Then, after going down 2-0 to Nottingham Forest last Saturday, United stormed back to win 3-2. 

Arsenal vs. Manchester United Odds

Premier League odds as of Wednesday, August 30. Subject to movement. 

  • Three-Way Moneyline: Arsenal (-135), Draw (+300), Manchester United (+320)
  • Spread: Arsenal Goal-Line (-0.5, -135), Manchester United Goal-Line (+0.5, +105) 
  • Over/Under: 3.5 Goals (+120, -175) 

Arsenal Offense vs. Manchester United Defense

The jury is still out on Arsenal’s attacking quality. 

On Matchday 1 against Nottingham Forest, the Gooners generated only 0.8 expected goals, according to fbref.com. Last season, Arteta’s side created 2.3 xGF in a home fixture against that side. 

The last two performances have proved encouraging, but the opposition isn’t exactly top-tier. Two expected goals against Crystal Palace looks good, but 0.8 of that total came via a Martin Odegaard penalty. 

A 2.5 non-penalty xG performance against Fulham also looks decent. However, it came against a terrible defense playing down a man for the final 15 minutes. 

The good news for Arsenal? Manchester United’s defense has looked dreadful to start the season. 

All three opponents have created at least 1.2 expected goals. Given two of those matches came at home for manager Erik ten Hag, bettors should question the overall quality of the defensive structure. 

Manchester United Offense vs. Arsenal Defense

The Red Devils offense faces their toughest test of this young campaign in a stacked Arsenal defense. 

Even though the competition isn’t on United’s level, all of Arsenal’s defensive woes are self-inflicted. Across their last two matches, Arsenal has conceded one combined expected goal when playing either up a man or at 11v11. 

United has created two-plus expected goals in all three matches, but there’s more than meets the eye. In their last outing against Nottingham Forest, United amassed 32% of their total xG AFTER going up a man. 

That said, give the United attack credit for their performance against Tottenham. Against a side fifth in expected goals against last season, ten Hag’s squad generated 2.1 expected goals. 

If United hopes to earn points at Arsenal, they’ll need a similar performance. But bettors should note they struggled in the last meeting at this venue, scoring two goals off 0.4 expected, per fbref.com. 

Arsenal vs. Manchester United Prediction, Best Bet

Arsenal Moneyline (-135) 

It’s tough to stomach laying a price with Arsenal, but United’s road record against top teams can’t be ignored. 

Last season against teams 10th or better in the final table, Man U posted a 0-2-7 (W-D-L) record with a -1.33 expected goal differential per 90 minutes. Defensively, they held only one team under one expected goal within that sample.

Conversely, Arsenal proved a tough out at home, even against top opposition. Against the same set of United opponents, Arsenal finished 5-2-2 (W-D-L) with a +0.74 xGDiff per 90 minutes. 

Based on those outputs, take the hosts so long as they’re available at -135 or better.

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About the Author

Nick Hennion

Read More @nickhennion

Nick Hennion is a senior content writer for BetMGM. His previous stops include VSiN, NBC Sports, The Action Network and Forbes Betting. He owns a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and a master's degree from Northwestern University.

Nick Hennion is a senior content writer for BetMGM. His previous stops include VSiN, NBC Sports, The Action Network and Forbes Betting. He owns a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and a master's degree from Northwestern University.