Opta Stats: Arsenal to be troubled by Middlesbrough

Arsene Wenger is being criticised again for Arsenal's injury woes
Arsene Wenger is being criticised again for Arsenal's injury woes

The Opta trends offer encouragement to Derby and Sunderland, but not so much for West Ham or Arsenal...

"This is the eighth time that Arsenal and Middlesbrough have been drawn together, with Arsenal winning five of the previous seven (once after a replay)."
Recommended Bet: Lay Arsenal (-1) to win @ 5/42.3

West Brom v West Ham (Saturday, 12:45, BT Sport 1)

West Ham have won only one of their last eight FA Cup matches in normal time (W1 D3 L4)

Even that sole Irons success was an uninspiring late 1-0 victory against League One side Bristol City. West Brom are unlikely winners too though, with Opta noting that they have won a mere four of their last 18 FA Cup matches against teams from the top two tiers. The Baggies have also prevailed in just one of their previous nine clashes with West Ham, with six of those finishing level. Expect a replay.

Recommended Bet: Back the draw @ 3.45


Derby v Reading (Saturday, 15:00)

Reading have failed to score in their last three matches against the Rams

These clubs have met twice already this season, with Derby winning 2-0 at the iPro Stadium in the league and 3-0 at the Madejski Stadium to ease them out of the Capital One Cup, so it is remarkable that Steve McClaren's men are as big as 8/52.6 to shut out the Royals again. They have kept the joint-most clean sheets of anyone in the Championship in 2014/15 (14), while just four sides have conceded more goals than Reading.

Recommended Bet: Back Derby to keep a clean sheet @ 8/52.6


Bradford v Sunderland (Sunday, 14:30)

Sunderland have won nine and lost just one of the last 12 matches against Bradford

Chelsea, Arsenal and Aston Villa can vouch for Bradford's giantkilling savvy, but Sunderland are more upset-proof than most, with Opta revealing that they were beaten in only one of their last ten FA Cup scraps with lower-league opponents. The chance to back them at above evens against a team two divisions below mustn't therefore be squandered, especially as they have leaked just twice in the past 12 head-to-head showdowns.

Recommended Bet: Back Sunderland to win @ 6/52.18


Arsenal v Middlesbrough (Sunday, 16:00, BT Sport 1)

This is the eighth time that they have been drawn together, with Arsenal winning five of the previous seven (once after a replay) and Middlesbrough two

The above might sound like a positive Arsenal omen, yet it really says that they only got the job done in 90 minutes four times in seven tries against a club with 11 fewer FA Cup titles to their name. The last time that the Gunners hosted a Championship squad in the competition, they were stunned 1-0 by Blackburn. Prior to that, they nipped past Leeds 1-0 in 2011/12, and the same visitors held them 1-1 in 2010/11.

Recommended Bet: Lay Arsenal (-1) to win @ 5/42.3

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