Arsenal v Cardiff: Aubameyang to fire hosts to another home victory
Simon Mail previews the midweek Premier League game at the Emirates Stadium with Arsenal hosting Cardiff City...
"Arsenal should be too strong for Cardiff and eight of their nine home league victories have seen them win by at least two goals."
Arsenal v Cardiff
Arsenal focused on top-four finish
Arsenal revived their hopes of Champions League qualification through a top four finish after last weekend's 2-0 home win over Chelsea. Unai Emery's side ended the year in disappointing fashion after being hammered at Liverpool and misfired badly in the recent 1-0 defeat at West Ham. The victory over Chelsea was much-needed as they moved within three points off their rivals.
There are still plenty of problems with Arsenal, none more so than their defensive weaknesses. Manchester United ruthlessly exposed them in Friday's 3-1 FA Cup win and the latest injuries to Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Laurent Koscielny, to add to Hector Bellerin's season ending injury, will have only worsened the fans' mood at Emirates Stadium.
Cardiff short of away goals and points
Cardiff head into this match third bottom in the Premier League and Neil Warnock's side still have it all to do to avoid relegation. City ended the year with a 1-0 victory at Leicester but have only taken one point, at home to bottom side Huddersfield, in their last three games. Cardiff were beaten 3-0 at Newcastle in their last match.
Their away form does not offer a great deal of hope heading to Arsenal with only one win this season. Cardiff have only managed to score six goals in 11 away matches so their limitations in attack could cost them their top-flight status. There will be a sombre atmosphere on Tuesday with the match the first since the disappearance of the plane carrying Cardiff signing Emiliano Sala to the club.
Gunners overwhelming favourites for victory
Arsenal are as short as [1.29] to win this game but it is difficult to dispute this. The Gunners have won their last six home games against Cardiff and all three of their Premier League clashes. Arsenal have won nine of their 12 home league matches this season and should add to this although it is worth looking elsewhere for ways to back them.
Cardiff are [13.5] to pull off an upset but there is no interest in siding with the outsiders. Their record against Arsenal, with a 3-2 home defeat in their last meeting, does not offer any encouragement and the lack of an attacking threat means they are unlikely to expose their opponents' weaknesses at the back.
The draw is available at [6.4] but only two of Arsenal's 12 games at Emirates Stadium have ended level. Cardiff have also only managed two draws on the road and they came at Crystal Palace and Huddersfield. The visitors would gladly take a point but an Arsenal victory looks banker material.
Arsenal should be too strong for Cardiff and eight of their nine home league victories have seen them win by at least two goals. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has 14 goals in the competition this season and four of them, including one against Cardiff, have come against promoted clubs. The Arsenal striker looks a likely scorer again.
The two bets individually are predictably short-priced in a match where Arsenal are widely expected to come out on top. Using Betfair's Same Game Multi option looks the best way to profit from this match. Backing Arsenal to cover a one-goal handicap, along with Aubameyang finding the net, enhances the odds to 2.18.
Six of Arsenal's eight Premier League goals against Cardiff have come in the second half, with five of those coming in the last 10 minutes. It is 16/1 for the first goal of the match to come between the 76th minute and full time.
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Simon's Premier League 2018-19 P/L