Arsenal v Manchester United: Back Rooney to enjoy himself against pitiful Per

Roo da man! Back the in-form striker to bag
Roo da man! Back the in-form striker to bag
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Lewis Jones was impressed with what he saw from Wayne Rooney in midweek and our tipster is following the United man to get on the scoresheet at The Emirates...

"Mertesacker has been part of a back-four that has allowed opposition strikers Bafétimbi Gomis, Abel Hernandez, Diego Costa, Sergio Aguero, Leonardo Ulloa and Steven Naismith all to find the net this season."

Back Wayne Rooney to score @ 2.757/4 or bigger (2pts)

Arsenal v Manchester United
Saturday, KO 5:30
Live on Sky Sports 1


Despite some summer additions which had Gunners fans licking their lips it has become a case of 'same old, same old' for Arsenal.

The 2-1 Premier League defeat at Swansea followed a deeply unacceptable 3-3 draw at home to Anderlecht in the Champions League.

Arsene Wenger may not want to admit it but a lack of defensive steel and reinforcements in the heart of the pitch is once again acting as Arsenal's biggest downfall.

Opta tell us that Arsenal have dropped more points than any other team from winning positions in this season's Premier League (9) and that doesn't come as a surprise.

Wenger has a chance to silence the critics and buying some time with a quickly turning home support though by beating their old rivals. They have to go into battle nursing a few injury worries though.

Former Red Devil Danny Welbeck suffered a hamstring problem in England's 3-1 victory over Scotland and is touch-and-go for the clash while Mesut Ozil is still seven weeks away from returning to action, with the German suffering a set-back in his recovery from a knee ligament injury.

Defensive duo Mathieu Debuchy and Laurent Koscielny are on the road to recovery but are still a few weeks away from full fitness. Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud may be among the substitutes for this one having been out with a broken foot sustained against Everton in August.

Manchester United

"Sorry, there's no room at the inn," yelled the Manchester United physio as Daley Blind crumbled in a heap with a knee injury in Holland's win over Latvia. He looks set to miss four weeks of action.

Louis van Gaal has concerns all over the pitch for this trip to north London.

Goalkeeper David De Gea, Angel Di Maria and striker Radamel Falcao are all doubts for the trip to the Emirates.

The Spanish keeper dislocated his finger while training with Spain ahead of their Euro 2016 qualifier against Belarus, while Falcao is struggling to recover from a knee injury. Di Maria suffered a knock to his ankle against Portugal for Argentina but reports on his fitness have been more positive in the last 24 hours.

Things are even worse defensively for United.

Marcos Rojo, Rafael, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans are still on the treatment table and full-back Luke Shaw is also a doubt with a knock suffered for England against Scotland. Michael Carrick is also struggling with a groin problem. If you're going to the match, take your boots - you may get a game.

Match Odds

This game always is a fascinating betting heat and this year's is no different with both teams a far cry away from their swaggering best.

Considering United's injury list it may come as a surprise to see them trading as short as 3.45 - it certainly did to me.

Arsenal have a reputation of being rolled over in games against fellow Champions League qualifiers, but that only holds truth away from home. On the road against the big boys (Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea) Arsenal record reads P16 W1 D1 L14.

However, over the last six seasons against the top teams (Tottenham, Everton, Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea) the north Londoners, who can be backed at 2.265/4 here, have only lost nine games out of 33 at the Emirates, including avoiding defeat to Manchester City in their last two meetings.

It's worth noting that 14 of those matches have ended being drawn and that looks the way to go here.

The draw is trading as the outsider of the three options at 3.65.

That's madness and looks a fantastic trading angle in a game where both teams would probably take a point and run.

To Score

One area of weakness in my betting temperament is my love for following strikers in form.

This is a risky strategy for many reasons, none more so that the prices usually on offer make a losing bet more difficult to stomach.

Hopefully, we won't be getting that sinking feeling this weekend with Wayne Rooney cutting a very reliable figure to make sure his odds of 2.757/4 to score anytime end up being a winner.

The England man has been splashed across the back pages for all the right reasons over the past seven days, winning his 100th cap for his country and edging ever closer to Sir Bobby Charlton's goalscoring record with a penalty against Slovenia and a deadly double against Scotland.

His performance against the Scots was one of his best in an England shirt.

Revelling in the attention, our Wayne looks a man possessed in front of goal at the moment and should be able to add to his mediocre tally of just three Premier League goals this season against an Arsenal defence that has serious problems with shutting out centre-forwards.

Per Mertesacker was one of Arsenal's standout performers last season but seems to be suffering with a World Cup winning hangover. Arsenal fans have called for him to lose his place but lack of defensive cover in the Gunners squad means that the shaky German is un-droppable.

He has been part of a back-four that has allowed opposition strikers Bafétimbi Gomis, Abel Hernandez, Diego Costa, Sergio Aguero, Leonardo Ulloa and Steven Naismith all to find the net this season.

Rooney has the required movement to give Mertesacker serious problems, especially if Di Maria plays from the start and can get his wand of a left foot producing the right kind of ammunition.

The guys at Opta tell us that Rooney has scored the joint-most goals (10) against Arsenal of any player in Premier League history, which only adds more fuel to the Rooney anytime fire. I'd still be backing this if it was an even money shot: 2.757/4 or bigger looks a steal.

Recommended Bets
Back the draw @ 3.65 (1pt)
Back Wayne Rooney to score @ 2.757/4 or bigger (2pts)

Lewis Jones Premier League P/L

Staked: 28pts
Returned: 40.8pts
P/L: +12.8pts

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