Arsenal vs Manchester United | Saturday 23rd April 2022, 12:30 | BT Sport
It was another dismal showing by Manchester United. On this occasion, Liverpool would act as the executioner with an Anfield crowd in full voice.
Limping home to Manchester on the back of a 4-0 thrashing would’ve been tough to take for Ralf Rangnick and company. The manner of the defeat was as significant as anything else, with players lambasted by pundits and fans alike for the lack of effort shown. Yet, in what has made a name for being one of the most competitive rivalries in world football, Liverpool sauntered towards the three points relatively unfazed.
Nevertheless, there’s no time to sulk. Less than four days later, another away trip takes centre stage for this travelling United side.
It’s a tough one to call from a betting perspective. Both sides enter the match with up and down form, albeit more down than up for United. Arsenal’s run of three straight losses before a very impressive Stamford Bridge performance should prove off-putting for punters considering the 1x2markets.
However, there is certainly a noticeable improvement at Arsenal. The Gunners have already equalled their 18 league victories from last season, something you’d expect them to better in the remaining six games. Not only that but on home soil, only Manchester City (42) and Liverpool (38) have collected more points than Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal (32) this campaign.
I’ve veered away from siding with Arsenal in any capacity in a bet builder as it’s impossible to tell which Gunners team will arrive. So instead, like I’ll be doing regularly as the football season comes to a close, I find myself settling on a bookings angle.
Craig Pawson is the man in the middle for Saturday’s early kick-off. Equipped with a 4.27 cards per90 average from 22 Premier League fixtures this season, he’ll likely remember his cards for the midday trip to The Emirates.
After breaking that 4.27 figure down into what we could expect in each half of football, Pawson looks to do most of his cautioning after the break. Pawson’s second-half average stands at 3.09 this term. In addition, both teams have received a card after the break in 73% of the referee’s matches in 2021/22.
At The Emirates, Arsenal receives 1.10 cards in the second half, whilst their opponents witness a fraction more with 1.20. Manchester United, on their travels, have thrown a little less caution to the wind, with both themselves and their opponents receiving 1.80.
With the prospect of a lively atmosphere as both sides perform amidst the allure of European, I’m expecting a heated battle in North London.