The two most successful sides in the history of the FA Cup meet when Manchester United host Arsenal on Monday in the sixth round of this year’s competition (19:45 GMT, live on BBC1).
Man Utd come into the match on the back of seven wins, two draws and just one defeat in their last 10 matches in all competitions. They are fourth in the Premier League table, a point behind Arsenal, with 53 points from 15 wins, eight draws and five defeats.
Louis Van Gaal’s side were a little fortunate to come away with all three points from a fairly even encounter away to Newcastle on Wednesday. They had slightly the better chances but only emerged victorious thanks to a late moment of madness in the home defence that saw Ashley Young presented with the ball to finish from inside the area in the 89th minute of play.
With Liverpool fast closing in on their top-four place, it was a vital three points for United, not least because they have a very tough run-in that will see them face five of the current top seven in their final 10 matches of the campaign. They almost need to finish in the top four to justify the largely unadventurous style that Van Gaal has utilised throughout the season.
Best Match Betting Odds
6/4 Man Utd (Bet365, BetVictor, Betfred, Ladbrokes, William Hill, Boylesports)
2/1 Arsenal (Bet365, Coral, BetVictor, Betfred, William Hill, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook)
5/2 Draw (SkyBet, Boylesports)
Statistics suggest that Man Utd have enjoyed more than their fair share of luck at both ends of the pitch over the course of the campaign. While such good fortune is unlikely to hold across all of their remaining league fixtures, three isolated occurrences would be sufficient to see Van Gaal lift the FA Cup in his first season in charge.
United will be without the injured Robin Van Persie (ankle) for this FA Cup match, while Luke Shaw (hamstring) is doubtful.
Arsenal travel north on the back of eight wins and two defeats in their last 10 matches in all competitions. They sit third in the Premier League table, just four points behind Manchester City in second, with 54 points from 16 wins, six draws and six defeats.
Arsene Wenger’s (pictured) side were relatively comfortable victors away to Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday, with second-half goals from Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez seeing them take all three points from a match in which they created by far the better chances. QPR did, though, make life a little difficult for them in the closing stages after pulling a goal back.
The victory was Arsenal’s fourth straight success in the league and a result that means they have now gone 15 matches in all competitions without once recording a draw. While they have suffered league defeats to both Southampton and local rivals Tottenham Hotspur since the turn of the year, their ability to see off lesser sides has propelled them into the top four.
While some, seemingly habitual, flaws still remain – the majority of which were expertly exploited by Monaco in their 3-1 win at the Emirates in late February – the Gunners still look well placed to extend their run of consecutive Champions League qualifying finishes to 18 come the end of the season. A successful defence of the FA Cup would also be welcomed.
Wenger will definitely be without the injured Abou Diaby (calf), Gabriel Paulista (hamstring), Jack Wilshere (ankle), Mathieu Debuchy (shoulder) and Mikel Arteta (ankle) for this FA Cup match, while Nacho Monreal (back), Mathieu Flamini (hamstring) and Wojciech Szczesny (illness) are all doubtful.
Man Utd v Arsenal Betting Tips
Man Utd won 2-1 when these sides met at the Emirates earlier this season and generally have a very strong record against the Gunners’ in recent times, with 11 wins and just one defeat in their last 15 meetings in all competitions. They have won each of the last six encounters at Old Trafford and last lost to Arsenal on home soil back in 2006.
United are tied with Arsenal as the most successful team in the history of the FA Cup, with 11 wins apiece, and made it through to the last eight of this year’s competition by seeing off Yeovil Town, Cambridge United and Preston North End. They have rarely been particularly convincing this season but are still solidly placed to achieve their aims for the campaign.
Arsenal are the FA Cup holders and defeated Hull City, Brighton and Hove Albion and Middlesbrough on route to the sixth round. They have generally been in good form since the turn of the year but have struggled whenever they’ve travelled to a top-10 side this season, losing five of their eight such fixtures to date. United should therefore be considered the more likely victors on Monday.
- Back Manchester United to win @ best odds of 6/4 with Bet365, BetVictor, Betfred, Ladbrokes, William Hill, or Boylesports.
- These two sides shared three goals when they met in the league earlier this season, while six of Man Utd’s last eight home matches and six of Arsenal’s last eight away matches in all competitions have also yielded three or more goals. Back over 2.5 goals @ best odds of 10/11 with SkyBet.