Arsenal v Manchester City: Struggling Arsenal Could Have the Edge in a Tight Game

Pep Guardiola, ManCity manager

Sunday’s FA Cup semi final involves two teams who fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the Premier League recently and this tie, at Wembley could be equally tight. Arsenal aren’t in great form right now but they should take some confidence from Monday night’s win away at a battling Middlesbrough while City themselves have also stuttered in recent weeks.

We know that form can often be disregarded in a one-off game such as this so how do the bookies see this in the run up to kick off?

Match Odds

Interestingly, this isn’t a close market at all with Manchester City the odds on favourites to win it in 90 minutes at an industry best price of 10/11 with bet365 and William Hill. The draw is listed at 3/1 with bet365 and Winner Sports while Arsenal are marginally further back at a best of 10/3 with MarathonBet.

Those are the 90 minute prices so, if you think this will go into extra time and possibly penalties, the To Qualify market shows City at 8/15 with SportingBet and Arsenal at 7/4 with either Paddy Power or Stan James.

Arsenal’s poor run is well documented but when you look at the form table, the Gunners are in a slightly better position than Sunday’s opponents. City have won two, lost two and drawn two of their last six whereas Arsenal have three wins, a draw and two defeats in the same period.

There was little to choose between the two sides when they met in the league recently and we know that Arsene Wenger’s men can beat anyone on their day so there is definite value in the Gunners for this one.

Individual Goal Scorers

If Arsenal are to get through to the FA Cup Final next month, they will need their best players, and their strikers in particular, to be firing. Alexis Sanchez is a 13/2 shot with Paddy Power and Boylesports while his partner Olivier Giroud is on that same 13/2 price with bet365 and Paddy Power.

It’s a market dominated by City players and it starts with Sergio Aguero at best odds of 4.00 with Arsenal followed by Gabriel De Jesus, who was in great form prior to injury, at 11/2 with Paddy Power.

Elsewhere, value in the anytime market comes from a number of players including Raheem Sterling of Manchester City at 9/1 with bet365 and Arsenal’s Theo Walcott at that same 9/1 price with 10Bet. Either of those midfielders could produce a winner but we’ll take an unusual step and go for last goal scorer where Olivier Giround is listed at 13/2 with bet365 and Paddy Power.

The Frenchman may well start this game from the bench and can be quite productive in the later stages of the game so this choice does make good sense when you look over Arsenal’s scoring record in this campaign.

Other Side Bets

Arsenal teams of the past have been criticised for being dour and with no attacking edge but there are a number of reasons why we could expect a few goals on Sunday. Firstly, there is the memory of that recent 2-2 draw in a game where both sides showed great attacking intent and brought the best out of their front men.

Then, there is Arsenal’s current form; they are a team who let in three goals against Crystal Palace earlier this month and if you think they are vulnerable to a stronger Manchester City unit, then you should be looking over the 2.5 goal line for this one. This is our final tip and it’s quoted at 59/100 with MarathonBet.

We feel that, although this is a huge and potentially tense occasion, the match will be similar in style to the one that produced that 2-2 draw. As for the result, Arsenal’s recent issues make them obvious outsiders but they are a better side than their form suggests and in a market that could have been much closer, the Gunners to qualify and proceed to next month’s final could be a very smart bet indeed.

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