Best bets: Manchester United v Arsenal, Premier League

Struggling Gunners have made the bookies feel get on

If some early season reports are to be believed, the Gunners are careering so rapidly downhill they are likely to be relegated this term. This, of course, is a thoroughly ridiculous notion and where better to prove that than at Old Trafford?

However, it is enormously difficult to get a result against Manchester United, especially at home, but canny punters may fancy taking advantage of the enormous 6/1 posted by Sportingbet about Arsenal securing three points. Indeed, in the handicap markets, where Arsenal are given a one-goal start, Arsene Wenger’s men are still odds-against (6/4) to win.

These are prices normally allocated to teams destined for the drop, not to the Gunners.

It is also worth noting that in the last 10 league meetings of this heavyweight duo, only one duel was settled by more than a single goal (United’s 3-1 victory at the Emirates in 2009-10) and the likelihood is that Sunday’s televised encounter will be similarly tight. Punters who agree may fancy running the rule over the 3/1 match draw odds, or the 4/1 chalked in favour of it finishing as a score draw.

It may also come as no surprise to see Sir Alex Ferguson’s men priced at 1/2 to win their third consecutive league fixture, though a few eyebrows have been raised at the 7/1 posted about Arsenal enjoying victory by a single goal.

In other markets, decent prices are there for the picking: for example, Robin van Persie is 11/4 to score at any time and the Gunners are a huge 16/1 to win 1-0. Punters keen on odds-on outcomes may consider the 4/7 offered for Arsenal to score.

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Wenger will know the importance of Arsenal not conceding an early goal (Sportingbet consider the chances of the opening strike arriving inside the first 15 minutes as a 19/10 shot), so giving them the opportunity to frustrate United.

Should the home crowd start getting on their team’s back, Arsenal could pounce, though perhaps the 7/1 odds chalked in favour of it ending 1-1 stand out as the weekend’s most appealing.

All match odds supplied by Sportingbet. Register with Sportingbet today to receive a free bet