United look vul­ner­a­ble to Arse­nal’s fire­power

In­jury-hit squad must raise their game af­ter strug­gling to beat League One Rochdale

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Football -

Liver­pool and Manch­ester City al­ready look set for a bat­tle to ri­val last sea­son’s ti­tle epic and the sides have put day­light be­tween them­selves and the pack af­ter just six games. How­ever, the races to fill the top four and top six look far from clear-cut with Le­ices­ter City, West Ham United and Bournemout­h oc­cu­py­ing top-six po­si­tions, Manch­ester United, yet to win an away match, in eighth, and Chelsea in the bot­tom half, with only Wat­ford and Nor­wich City hav­ing a worst de­fen­sive record.

Arse­nal may be sit­ting in fourth, but Unai Emery is start­ing to come un­der pres­sure ahead of the visit to Old Traf­ford on Mon­day night.

At this stage, I would be more than happy to place bets on both the man­agers on the touch­line on Mon­day to not be in their po­si­tion on the open­ing day of next sea­son, but a win here will buy Emery some breath­ing space.

United are strug­gling with in­juries and Mar­cus Rash­ford is the lat­est to be ruled out. Fringe play­ers An­gel Gomes, Fred and Jesse Lin­gard made up United’s front six, along with Scott Mctom­i­nay, Daniel James and An­dreas Pereira, at the end of their dis­ap­point­ing 2-0 de­feat at West Ham last week, and it is hard to imag­ine them caus­ing too many prob­lems against any team. Arse­nal to beat Manch­ester United West Ham to beat Bournemout­h Southamp­ton to beat Tot­ten­ham Mums Tip­ple (3.00 New­mar­ket)

With the sec­ond-string side strug­gling to progress past Rochdale in the Carabao Cup in mid­week, I want to take on United in ev­ery game, at least un­til some of their top names make a re­turn.

Arse­nal have more than enough fire­power to score at least once at Old Traf­ford, and the 2/1 about them com­ing away with a win looks too good to ig­nore.

Else­where, two of the top six face each other to­day, when West Ham travel to Bournemout­h. An ab­ject per­for­mance in mid­week, when they lost 4-0 to League One Ox­ford United, could in­spire West Ham, whose sec­ond-string are far from re­li­able, to bounce back.

With Se­bas­tian Haller, Felipe An­der­son, Manuel Lanzini and De­clan Rice set to come back into the side, they pos­sess more than enough qual­ity to breach a Bournemout­h de­fence who have failed to record a clean sheet in the league this sea­son.

If there is to be a shock this week­end, it could come in Lon­don, with Southamp­ton too big at 6/1 to beat Tot­ten­ham.

This Southamp­ton side are ide­ally set up to play away from home against big teams, with plenty of pace and guile on the break. With Tot­ten­ham strug­gling to find de­cent form, it might be worth throw­ing a few quid on the away side to cause a sur­prise.

There is a fan­tas­tic race meet­ing at New­mar­ket to­day, and we could wit­ness the ar­rival of a star in Mums Tip­ple.

Plenty of peo­ple thought his 12-length de­mo­li­tion of a huge field at York last time was too good to be true, but some­times the eye does not de­ceive you. I think he could be top class and the fact he takes on two un­beaten chal­lengers, one from France in Earth­light, and the other Ir­ish raider Siskin, means he is a gen­er­ous price at 5/2 to win the Mid­dle Park Stakes.

Marks­man: Pierre-em­er­ick Aubameyang (cen­tre) has scored six Premier League goals al­ready this sea­son for Arse­nal

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