By William Hill
Last Updated: 6th November 2019
On the face of it, a trip to a newly promoted Sheffield United team, that are just a point clear of the Premier League relegation zone, should be a relatively straight forward one for Arsenal.
A look at the statistics, however, show that it might not be such a routine Monday night for the Gunners after all.
This being because Arsenal don’t particularly like paying a visit to Bramall Lane in the Premier League, having lost there on their most recent trip in 2006, 1-0 to a Christian Nade winner.
In fact, the Gunners have never won there in the competition in three attempts, drawing 1-1 on the other two occasions in 1992 and 1994.
Arsenal have played more Premier League games at Bramall Lane without victory than they have at any other ground in the division.
When you take a look at the north London club’s record in Yorkshire, it’s clear that this particular region of the country is not the happiest of hunting grounds for Arsenal.
Since the Premier League began in 1992, the Gunners have played a total of 48 away games in Yorkshire – against Barnsley, Bradford City, Huddersfield Town, Hull City, Leeds United, Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday as well as Sheffield United – winning just 22 of those, losing 16 and drawing 10, giving them a win percentage of only 45.83%.
Aubameyang to inspire the Gunners?
Past form and Yorkshire hoodoos aside, Arsenal go into this game as 88/100 favourites for good reason.
While the Gunners have struggled for consistency when it comes to style and performances under Unai Emery, in a Premier League season that has so far seen the majority of teams largely underperform, Arsenal have managed to get more points on the board than most of their top-four rivals.
A win at Bramall Lane on Monday night would see they move up to third in the table, one point off second-placed Manchester City and seven off leaders Liverpool.
And with an in-form Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leading the attack, goals should not prove to be a problem in Sheffield.
Aubameyang has seven goals in eight Premier League games this season – only Sergio Aguero and Tammy Abraham have more – while a goal on Monday night would see him notch his 50th for Arsenal in all competitions after just 76 games to become the sixth fastest player in history to reach the milestone for the Gunners.
Aubameyang is 7/2 to be the first goalscorer at Bramall Lane, enhanced from 3/1, and 19/20 to score anytime.
Arsenal will also be boosted by the return of Alexandre Lacazette from injury. Likely to start from the bench, the Frenchman netted two goals in three Premier League games before suffering his latest setback and is 6/4 to score anytime.
Sheffield United, who are waiting on the fitness of John Fleck, Oli McBurnie and David McGoldrick, have shown so far that they have enough nous to remain in the division this season, though they have lost their last three home games in the league and Chris Wilder’s side could be in for more misery tonight.
That being said, Arsenal under Emery are no stranger to a disappointing performance, and a draw at 27/10 is certainly not something to be ruled out.