Tip Arsenal - Sheffield United
Traditional heavyweights Arsenal host promoted Premier League side Sheffield United this Saturday in a match that flips convention on its head. For Arsenal are tenth in the table, four points and four places (sixth) behind their better-placed top-four-chasing counterparts. It would have been a bold prediction to make before the season started but the Blades have been worthy of a European place. Chris Wilder deserves more credit for the way in which he's set his side up. They boast the second-best defensive record in the division (conceding only 21 goals in 22 matches) and play the same way no matter the opponent. They've taken a few notable scalps this season and beat Arsenal in the reverse fixture back in October. If they had a more prolific presence in their front line, the Blades would be even higher up the table.
While it's a sunny present and bright future for Sheffield United, the forecast for Arsenal fans is mistier. Mikel Arteta has made a promising start to his managerial career but that's only produced one win from three Premier League matches. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be banned for this match after his red card against Crystal Palace, so Arsenal will be missing one of the league's top scorers. The Gabonese forward has 14 goals in the Premier League season - nine goals better than their next-best scorer, Alexandre Lacazette. Given that Aubameyang scored almost half of all of Arsenal's Premier League goals this season (29), we don't see the Gunners mustering enough firepower to see off the visitors. Back the Blades in a double chance bet.
Key points Arsenal - Sheffield United
Only Liverpool have a better defensive record than Sheffield United in the Premier League this season.
Sheffield United won the reverse fixture against Arsenal 1-0 in October 2019.
Arsenal have only won four of their 11 home matches in the Premier League this season.
Conclusion Arsenal - Sheffield United
Arsenal have looked better since Arteta took charge of the team but they still have a long way to go before they can be relied upon to get a result against a team of Sheffield United's quality. Without Aubameyang's goals, they could struggle to break down an organised defence. Even if they do, the brilliant Dean Henderson is between the sticks. We think that the Blades are great value for a double chance bet.
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Arsenal Sheffield United Prediction published on January 13, 2020