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Graeme Le Saux: Expect goals as Arsenal take on City

Pep Guardiola likes to chop and change his side and that can foster uncertainty
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Ex-England international Graeme Le Saux gives Betfair his verdict on the second FA Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Man City at Wembley...

"Looking towards the game itself, if Arsenal start well they could have some joy. Their confidence will increase with a good start under their belt and they could really grow into the game. That's why the first, early exchanges will be crucial."

Arsenal v Man City
Sunday, 15:00
Live on BT Sport 1 and Betfair Live Video

As opposed to Chelsea and Spurs, it's pretty difficult to predict which players will actually line up for both teams in this game - in my other role as a commentator, when we receive the Man City team sheet an hour ahead of kick off it's always a bit of a puzzle trying to work out who's going to play where and which system Pep Guardiola wants them to set up in. And even Arsene Wenger has been at it, playing three at the back against Middlesbrough for their less-than-convincing win last time out, and he's been shuffling the pack in midfield fairly regularly.

All that is probably a sign that Wenger is scratching around a little bit under the pressure he's been under recently and I wonder how much time the squad have had to work on a three-at-the-back system. Overall, I can't help but feel that Arsenal look like a distracted team at the moment.

What strikes me when looking at the league records of these two (as well as watching them play fairly regularly) is that they seem pretty fragile out of possession. There doesn't appear to be any security defensively, and that's why they've conceded a lot more than the two at the top of the league.

For instance, I often think that as a creative player it would be great to play for Guardiola as you get so much freedom. But if you're a defender, not so much - as a left-back I was looking to build relationships with the centre back next to me as well as the midfielder in front of me, and consistency was key. With Man City at the moment under Pep, they don't seem to have that.

Looking towards the game itself, if Arsenal start well they could have some joy. Their confidence will increase with a good start under their belt and they could really grow into the game. That's why the first, early exchanges will be crucial - City can look absolutely wide open at times and Arsenal have the ability to hurt them. By the same token, Guardiola has a huge wealth of attacking options at his disposal - Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Sergio Aguero and even Gabriel Jesus if he returns from injury in time.

I'm expecting an open, expansive game here and given the respective styles of the two teams I think it's absolutely ideal from an entertainment point of view that they're playing each other. I predict it'll be exciting, and because of that I think we'll see goals.

Over 3.5 Goals is available at [2.38] and that looks like a good bet to me.

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