Arsenal and New York Red Bulls meet at the Red Bull Arena this weekend to kick off the Gunners' tour of North America. Arsene Wenger will have to contend without a number of first-team players, including World Cup-winning trio Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker.
The Gunners have a particularly good relationship with New York striker Thierry Henry, who will be lining up for the Americans. The Arsenal legend has returned to the Gunners on a number of occasions on loan. These two sides met in the Emirates Cup in 2011, with the result finishing 1-1.
Arsenal will be keep to kick off this tour with a victory and are priced at 1/2 (1.50) with bet365 to do so. This is Wenger’s men’s first proper first team friendly, after a youthful side travelled to Boreham Wood last Saturday and came away 2-0 winners.
New York are currently in the middle of their regular season, sitting fourth in the Eastern Conference after 20 matches. Former Southampton striker Bradley Wright-Philips is certainly making a mark in America, netting 17 goals in his 19 league matches this season. Bet365 price them at 9/2 (5.50) to win, with the same firm pricing the draw at 14/5 (3.80).
The Red Bulls have been involved in some high-scoring matches of late, with the over 2.5 bet paying out in six of their last seven games. However, the price of 13/20 (1.65) is a little skinny, with a better bet found elsewhere.
With Arsenal missing their three German players, as well as the likes of new signing Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Thomas Vermaelen, they have a squad lacking attacking options and looking bare at the back. In fact, it is only Wenger’s midfield that looks anywhere near recognisable.
With this in mind, as well as taking into account New York being match fit, it’s worth siding with the Mike Petke’s side to get a result with New York or Draw at 6/4 (2.50) offering plenty of value. Expect the Gunners to struggle with a side lacking experience in key areas.
|New York Red Bulls or draw at 6/4 (2.50) for a 1.5pt stake with bet365