Manchester United vs Arsenal - Match Preview
Whilst everyone has their own abiding memories from the many classics there have been between Manchester United and Arsenal in recent years, most fresh in the mind is the incredible 8-2 at Old Trafford from last season. This weekend, Arsenal return to the scene of their biggest ever Premier League defeat for the first time since that loss, and will hope to avenge it with a positive result this time around. They will be further motivated by the fact they will be facing Robin van Persie for the first time since his summer move to the Red Devils. Van Persie scored in both league meetings between the sides last season, and given his start to this season (7 goals and 3 assists in 9 league appearances) could well net again here.
Manchester United, second in the Premier League and only a point behind Chelsea after beating them last week, have won seven of their nine league matches this season, and 11 out of 14 in all competitions. What is more, United have been victorious in 33 of their last 38 Premier League games on home soil, and with Arsenal having put in a limp display in losing at Norwich last time they played away from home, Manchester United to win, at odds of 1.65, is a likely occurrence. (For the more ambitious amongst you, United to lead at half time and full time multiplies your stake by 2.50)
Most people associate these games with plenty of on- (and off-) field scraps, with cards brandished freely throughout. Interestingly, however, there has only been one red card in the last 14 Premier League meetings between the sides, and that was Carl Jenkinson's red at Old Trafford last season. The last red card before Jenkinson's was given to Mikael Silvestre in February 2005. What there have been a lot of in games between the sides at Old Trafford, are penalties. There have been eight penalties in their nine league meetings in Manchester, and with nervous challenges being made in a game which the media will hype up, you could bet on the referee giving a penalty, and at odds of 3.40, it could be money well placed.
If you are looking for more eye-catching odds, the most obvious trend in Manchester United's results is that there have been an abundance of goals. The Red Devils have already been involved in five matches that have ended with a 3-2 scoreline in all competitions this season, winning four of those games. Furthermore, they were only an injury time penalty away from winning by that exact score in midweek in the Capital One Cup against Chelsea. Odds of 20.00 reflect how unlikely this is, but could be worth a pound or two given the trends preceding it.
Juventus vs Inter - Match Preview
With Juventus having extended their unbeaten league run to an incredible 49 games with a win over Bologna in midweek, they now face Serie A's other in form side as they look to reach a half century of games without losing. Inter Milan have, though, under Andrea Stramaccioni's guidance, won their last 7 Serie A games in a row, and have moved up to second place in the league, only 4 points behind the Bianconeri. It is clear to see how much rides on this game, despite its' early stage in the season.
Juventus do not typically concede many goals at home, and have let in only two goals in 5 league games on their own turf this season. Inter, meanwhile, have, in winning all five of their away games, only let in a solitary goal on their travels. While both teams have a lot of firepower up front, neither team will want to lose, so they may look to defend rather than go all out attack. A decent bet is the odds of 1.80 that you can find on there to be fewer than three goals in this clash.
While Juve are clearly incredibly difficult to beat, it was at the point of reaching 49 league games unbeaten than Arsenal's 'invisibles' finally lost, and that may be an omen for the game in Italy. Inter are in fine fettle, with Cassano leading the line with great effect since his summer move. He could prove the difference here, and he has a great record against his opponents for this game, having scored more Serie A goals against Juventus (7) than he has done against any other side in his career.
The odds on Inter to win are 5.00, highlighting exactly how difficult the task that lies ahead of them is. However, this could be Inter's time, and they have a fantastic chance to end Juve's run.