Saturday, November 03, 2007

Weekend Outlook (03 Nov 2007)

Arsenal vs Manchester United

"...almost overnight from out of the blue, we hit Four On The Floor for Four On The Score...."
- JayWalk, 03 Nov 2007

What we had achieved in the last 4 games, was simply remarkable to the extend of being almost unreal. One day, we were scraping a goal here and a goal there. Sometimes we win, others we get the consolatory point. Then almost overnight from out of the blue, we hit Four On The Floor for Four On The Score. Are we going to get 5 of these? I highly doubt so and besides, Five just doesn't rhyme that well, almost I would most certainly have no complains if we can put 4 past the Gunners on their home soil.


Looking at last week, we leisurely slotted 4 goals past Middlesbrough over the weekend where the latter surrendered meekly as early as the coin toss. The problem with Boro is that since the inception of the English Premier League, they never had the luck of picking an excellent manager. Robson was a joke. Venables was a half-time side show, McClaren is too conservative and Southgate is a default candidate when nobody else wanted the job. Perhaps it is the culture of the club where the players are just... just.... boring. Looks like Melatonin Middlesbrough has taken over the Boring tag of yore from Arsenal.

Earlier, I mentioned about ManUtd's Four On The Floor with Four On The Score. Boro would probably be Fall On The Floor. Asleep, that is.

I think I better stop here before I wake up with keyboard prints on my face.

ManUtd has had a good week's rest ahead of the clash but that didn't translate into too big an advantage with Arsenal deploying a virtual B-team and still come away 3-0 winners. You could tell how much emphasis Arsene Wenger placed on this coming match against ManUtd, where even the subs are from the B-team. Truly the mark of a great adversary.

Looking ahead and we have the ECL fixtures during midweek. Not a big concern for either team as both are just a single point away from qualifying to the next round with 3 games to play. Their respective opponents are the cannon fodders of the group and taking points from them is going to be cakewalk. ManUtd has the slight edge here by having home ground advantage against Dynamo Kiev while the Gunners have to travel away to Slavia Prague. Not a big deal for them either as a draw is simply good enough.

JayWalk The Talk: van Persie is unavailable today as is Eduardo and Senderos. Other than that, is a full squad of healthy youngsters raring to go. Adebayor will be the lone striker up front and certainly less then ideal against a team with the current best defensive record of 4 goals conceded in 11 league games.

The list of unavailables are a tad longer at ManUtd where we are still missing the services of Scholes, Foster, Park and Silvestre. However, there are good news in the dressing room as we welcome back Hargreaves after successfully completing his senior game against Middlesbrough a week ago. I'd be certain to see him on the pitch today.

Neville is back on the pitch too but he has to start regaining match fitness by undergoing B-team games regime. Saha and Carrick are both slightly behind their Captain and will be joining Neville in the reserves squad soon. Good timing considering that we are about to enter the busy holiday fixtures next month and the all important game against Liverpool in mid-December.

JayWalk The Walk:
Sure we got doubled by the Gunners last season but historical stats has shown that we still have the slight upper hand with 71 wins over them, while they are 65 over us and 40 draws in all League meets.

There are 2 streaks currently running. Arsenal are on a 17-game unbeaten streak while ManUtd are currently running an 8-game winning streak. This is a game between the best attack (Arsenal : 22 goals in 10 games) against the best defence (ManUtd : 4 goals in 11 games).

Handicap is all square between the two teams but ManUtd being the away team here, is assigned a 2.10 decimal odds to win, while Arsenal has 1.80. Currently at the time of this article, the wagers are more on ManUtd at 60% to Arsenal's 40% (probably due to the stingy 1.80 decimals odds) which is still within the fluctuation range. Anything more than 60% and Arsenal may get a 0.25-ball advantage to balance the wager pool. However, given the 1.80 decimal odds for Arsenal, I doubt if the Asian Handicap is going to change further. So those betting on ManUtd can sit back and relax for now, instead of rushing down to place your bets in order to lock in the odds, in case the odds change against their favour.

This game is going to be a very very close affair with draw written all over it. Playing at Arsenal over the last 5 encounters (Highbury and Emirates Stadium), we are 1-3-1.

I think we will finish 1-4-1 after tonight and given that we are going to get no money here. I say don't bother unless you are a hardcore fan where a tiny punt on ManUtd may make the game a little more fun to watch.

Disclaimer: The above views are purely my own two-cents' worth. In other words, I cannot and will not guarantee that my predictions are accurate. If you want to bet on the game, do so at your own risk. Also, please bet responsibly and within your means regardless of how "sure thing" that game may appear to be. As the old saying goes, "The Ball Is Round". Good luck.


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