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FA Cup Betting: Arsenal v Cardiff

Televised Match Previews RSS / / 15 February 2009 /

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After a 0-0 draw and a postponed replay it should be a case of third time lucky as Arsenal and Cardiff play for the right to stay in the FA Cup. "Mystical" Mike Norman talks us through the nuts and bolts of the match. Best bet: Back Under 2.5 Goals at [1.93].

Arsenal fans won't thank me for reminding them of the events of 1961. That was the year that North London rivals Tottenham became the first team in the 20th Century to do the league and cup double. It was also the year that Cardiff City last recorded a victory over the Gunners, winning 3-2 at Highbury in the league. Can the Bluebirds repeat that result 48 years later in Monday night's FA Cup fourth round replay?

The Match Odds market has Arsenal available to back at [1.48], Cardiff at [9.8], and The Draw at [4.4]. Arsenal are just [1.22] in the To Qualify market, whilst Cardiff are available at [4.7].

Arsenal last beat Cardiff just two years ago, winning 2-1 at home in the third round of this same competition, though from the 16-man squad named for that game, 12 have since left the club. Current form suggests that Arsene Wenger's men could be in for a tough night. They are on an unbeaten run of 10 games in all competitions, but worryingly, six of those have been draws and they've scored an average of just 1.2 goals per game despite this seemingly good run.

Cardiff on the other hand last tasted defeat in November, and have now won seven of their last 11 league and cup games. They haven't conceded a first half goal in any of their last eight matches. Backing 0-0 at [3.15] in the Half Time Score market is certainly worth consideration.

Wenger could give Eduardo his first club start since that horrific leg injury he suffered 12 months ago, though new signing Andrey Arshavin is ineligible and Emmanuel Eboue is suspended. Abou Diaby and Emmanuel Adebayor are out injured, whilst Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott and Tomas Rosicky are longer-term absentees. Cardiff are without experienced goalkeeper Peter Enckelman (Tom Heaton will deputise) and new signings Michael Chopra and Quincy Owusu-Abeyie are ineligible.

The Half Time/Full Time market is where my main focus of attention is for this game as I expect the match to start slowly with Cardiff defending well. Draw/Draw ([7.2]) is certainly worth a saver, but Draw/Arsenal ([4.5]) is my preference as the Gunners try to null the threat of extra-time and penalties.

The Correct Score market has 1-0 and 2-0 to Arsenal (both available to back at [7.2]) as the favourites, which suggests that Under 2.5 Goals will be a popular selection at [1.93] - Over 2.5 Goals can be backed at [2.04].

Robin van Persie and Eduardo will be amongst the favourites when the First Goalscorer market matures and should be available to back at around [5.5] and [7.0] respectively. Ross McCormack and Jay Bothroyd will carry Cardiff's main goalscoring threat and both will be available to back at around the [14.0] mark.


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