Arsenal v Lincoln City
Live on BT Sport 2
It has been a horrendous few weeks for the Gunners with the pressure on Arsene Wenger's position intensifying. It seems the majority of the Arsenal supporters believe it is time for the manager to leave at the end of the season with the side in danger of missing out on a top-four finish. The Gunners were humiliated in the Champions League after a 5-1 midweek defeat saw them thrashed 10-2 on aggregate by Bayern Munich.
Their only chance of ending the season with silverware is to win the FA Cup and Wenger has enjoyed success in this competition after winning it twice in the last three years. The Premier League side have been handed a decent draw and after winning 2-0 at Sutton United in the last round are drawn against another non-league side in the last-eight.
It has been an astonishing run in the tournament for the National League leaders. Lincoln's record-breaking campaign in the competition started five months ago after being held to a draw against Guiseley. But City have not looked back since and dumped Championship sides Ipswich Town and Brighton out before their stunning 1-0 win at Premier League Burnley last month.
Danny Cowley's team have been superbly organised and exceptionally hard to beat against all levels of opposition. The Imps have lost just once in their 16 matches since the start of January and this belief and confidence has helped carry them to within one win of a semi-final at Wembley. With just two defeats since the start of October, Lincoln will be dreaming off a monumental cup upset at the Emirates.
The Gunners are unbackable favourites at [1.09] to win this weekend. Of course Arsenal should win against opponents four divisions below them but how can you bank on them at these odds after losing five of their last seven matches? The hosts can have no excuses and should come through this tie with something to spare but backing them in this market is a non-starter.
Can the Imps pull off another incredible upset? Not if you believe the odds as Lincoln are rank outsiders at [38.0]. But this seems incredibly dismissive for a team on such a good run and with a recent Premier League scalp fresh in the memory. The reality is this looks a step too far for them but who could begrudge anyone willing to have a bet on them at such dismissive odds?
The draw is also a huge price at [15.5] which could be worth considering as a back to lay option. Lincoln were heading for a draw at Burnley until their late winner and the visitors will aim to frustrate Arsenal and defend deep against them. Two of Lincoln's last three games have finished level but the Gunners have drawn just one of their last 21 matches.
Although Arsenal should reach the last-four, the visitors could be worth backing with a three-goal handicap advantage. The Gunners only managed to beat Sutton by two goals in the last round and Lincoln are a stronger side. Arsenal have failed to cover this handicap margin in their last 13 home matches. City have only lost by three goals once this season and are capable of limiting Wenger's side's margin of victory.
Theo Walcott has scored four times in the FA Cup this season, with no player left in the competition having scored more than him. Walcott is 4/6 to net this weekend.
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Simon Mail's 2016/17 Season P/L
Staked: 38 pts
Returned: 42.33 pts
P/L: +4.33 pts