United look beatable as suspensions weaken their midfield
Sir Alex Ferguson proved once again that his tactical nous is second to none when using seven defenders to defeat Arsenal in the FA Cup on Saturday, and those defenders will have to be utilised further over the course of the run-in.
Manchester United solid in the Premier League betting at 4/6, but as Sir Alex Ferguson’s side chase three trophies – they are 1/2 to beat Marseille and qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals – Arsenal may be the better bet at 15/8.
There’s no doubt that confidence in the Arsenal camp is low after a dire two weeks, but Man Utd’s squad is stretched to the limit at the moment and the fact Arsene Wenger can concentrate solely on a league challenge is a huge plus.
Paul Scholes’ aggressive 10-minute cameo performance against Arsenal has cost him a two-match ban, ruling him out of a home game with Bolton and a trip to Upton Park.
While Scholes is eligible and likely to feature against Marseille on Tuesday, Ferguson will be without Nani, Ji-Sung Park, Anderson and Scholes for at least the Bolton game leaving Man Utd’s midfield short of cover.
With Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher out of form, the Manchester United midfield is looking very weak, although the return of Luis Antonio Valencia on Saturday was a timely boost.
With Arsenal just three points behind Manchester United in the Premier League, and with a game against the league leaders at the Emirates coming up in May, Gunners fans should be fancying their chances.
Manchester United play Arsenal and Chelsea in consecutive games at the start of May, and those games are likely to define Man Utd’s season.
At 1/1 to win the FA Cup and 6/1 to win the Champions League, Man Utd are still challenging on all fronts and it could yet prove to be another hugely successful season for the Red Devils.
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