Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
Manchester United V Arsenal
Monday 9th March. 7:45PM. BBC One
The standout tie from this season’s FA Cup quarter-final undoubtedly comes from Monday night’s mouth-watering showdown between two giants of English football at Old Trafford.
It might not the blockbuster event of that infamous 1999 semi-final, but this should be a thrilling contest all the same. For both teams, this is the only realistic chance of silverware and that should lead to a passion-fuelled 90 minutes of action.
Let’s hope the teams live up to their billing,
Gunners Out To Retain Title
Last season’s FA Cup win provided the Gunners with a first trophy in nine years and Arsene Wenger’s men will be eager to retain their title, especially now they’ve made the last eight. However, they know that the trip to Old Trafford won’t be easy.
Arsenal can look to their recent form for inspiration, though, as the Gunners have won 17 of 22 competitive fixtures since losing to the Red Devils at the Emirates in November. Wenger’s men will have felt a little robbed during that 2-1 league defeat, but know a similar performance should give them a great chance of success in this crucial cup clash.
The visitors will also be pleased with Oliver Giroud’s recent resilience and the French striker could be a key asset at Old Trafford. Having flopped against Monaco, he has scored in both games sine and would love to complete that hat-trick of strikes here. Meanwhile, former Red Devil Danny Welbeck will be eager to score should he be recalled to the starting line-up.
There are weaknesses within the Arsenal team, but they’ve already shown their worth in Manchester this season with a professional display against City at the Etihad. If their midfielders can dominate the middle third once more then the Gunners could be set for another semi-final appearance.
Red Devils Look To Continue Impressive Form Over Arsenal
Manager Louis van Gaal has come under immense criticism throughout his maiden campaign at Old Trafford, but if he can add FA Cup success to Champions League qualification then he will have achieved more than anybody could’ve expected at the season’s start.
Incredibly, Manchester United haven’t won the world’s eldest cup competition in 11 years and the Red Devils would love to put that right this term. With the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City eliminated, there couldn’t be a better opportunity to lift the trophy at Wembley on May 30th. A quarter-final encounter with Arsenal won’t be easy, but playing at Old Trafford will give Van Gaal’s men a real advantage.
Manchester United have beaten Arsenal in each of the past six meetings here, including that memorable 8-2 demolition in 2011. Likewise, the November win at the Emirates will inspire confidence as will the club’s home record of 12 wins from 15 matches.
Former Gunner Robin van Persie looks set to miss out through injury, but the return of Michael Carrick will be particularly pleasing and his calming influence could be key. In the attacking third, skipper Wayne Rooney will look to continue his fine form against Arsenal whilst Radamel Falcao could finally underline his worth be by emerging as the Monday night hero.
Whatever happens, it should be a cracking contest.
Manchester United V Arsenal Betting
With five straight head-to-head wins at Old Trafford, it’s unsurprising to see Manchester United enter the Monday night fixture as the bookies favourites. However, odds of 11/8 with Bet365 indicate that this won’t be a walk in the park. Meanwhile, Arsenal have a real fighting chance at 2/1 and the draw is available at 12/5.
Both teams enter this match in great form but the impetus surely has to be with the hosts, who boast a fantastic recent record over the Gunners along with their brilliant home form.
Likewise, the Gunners wouldn’t be too disappointed with taking it back to a replay as they’d fancy their chances at the Emirates. For that reason, we think this selection is a real player.
Manchester United Draw no bet @ ¾ with BetVictor
If any one player on the pitch is likely to shine for Manchester United then it has to be Wayne Rooney. He still hasn’t hit top form since returning to his attacking role, but he did net twice against Sunderland in his last home match.
Rooney has always enjoyed a decent record against the Gunners, extending way back to his Everton days. An FA Cup winners’ medal is the only thing missing from his impressive CV and we’re backing the England skipper to help his side take a step towards the trophy here.
Wayne Rooney to score first @ 11/2 with Paddy Power