Arsenal’s best hope for silverware
Pundits and experts alike believe FA Cup is Arsenal’s best hope for silverware this season, sitting second in the pecking order at +450 soccer odds to win outright – just a tad behind tournament favourites Man City at +333 at Bet365.
Arsenal are after a 5-1 drubbing at Anfield Stadium in week 25 EPL betting, their first defeat in ten matches, first in eight league matches since a 6-3 defeat to Man City at the Etihad. Forget the league, say sportsbooks however. That is if soccer odds were any indication.
Despite the routing, Arsenal enter their FA Cup clash with Liverpool as the favourites, albeit on the short side of even money at +138 at Bet365. Clearly, the humiliation at Anfield Stadium isn’t expected to repeat itself and certainly not in their kop where the Gunners are a solid 9-2-1 this season – the lone defeat coming at the start of the season to Aston Villa. In fact, the lopsided defeat to Liverpool seems a bit of an aberration against the context of their season.
Overall, Arsenal boast a 17-4-4 record in Premier League action and 55 points. The defeat to Liverpool was costly in that it saw them slip down to second in the table, a point behind Chelsea – lost ground they hope to recover with a solid performance against Manchester United on Wednesday, just a few days ahead of their FA Cup clash. A feat many expect they accomplish rather easily given Man U’s 2-2 debacle against Fulham at the weekend which only served to fuel the discontent surrounding the Premier League defending champions and, in turn, decrease market confidence further.
Still a clash against Man U is considered a tough matchup for Arsenal, especially when Man U have been conspicuously better on the road than at home. To have a tough matchup ahead of an even tougher prospect in Liverpool at the weekend isn’t ideal because it limits options. Arsené Wenger can’t rest players or rotate his bench to advantage. And the worst bit, making all these considerations that much tougher for Arsené, is the prospect of Bayern Munich looming in midweek Champions League action after the weekend. Yikes.
Talk about tough schedules and no favours from the draw: potential stumbling blocks strewn across all three campaigns and at the same time. How unlucky is that. Indeed, Arsené will have to be mindful of all these challenges and although he is called “The Professor,” these threats could prove too much even for an astute student of the game with a brilliant tactical mind such as his is.
Liverpool at the disadvantage
Liverpool head into the Emirates listed at the disadvantage at +188 to win outright, a price that seems rather shocking given that they just ran circles around Arsenal at the weekend, exposing some of their inherent weaknesses on defence as well as offense. Can a change in venue really bring about a different outcome in a space of a week?
Few expect the Reds to replicate their performance at the Emirates, largely because Liverpool are better at home than they are on the road this season. At Anfield Stadium, they are an impressive 11-1-1 this season while on the road they are a modest 4-4-4 – quite a significant dip in form, wouldn’t you say.
That sketchy road form largely explains why the Reds are out of favour for this clash across sportsbooks and why the betting trend leans towards Arsenal as well. Then again, the markets aren’t exactly cornering this game wholeheartedly in Arsenal’s camp are they? Should that factor into our soccer betting picks?
Arsenal vs. Liverpool match betting tips and picks:
Still stinging from the 5-1 humiliation in Liverpool, Arsenal should come out guns blazing in this clash. They owe their fans a face saving performance. Of course, they aren’t the only team to take a beating at Anfield – not unlike Man City’s hallowed Etihad, Anfield has been the sight of several bloodbaths this season. Why, Everton suffered a 4-0 defeat there just a week prior. So if they keep their peckers up they should come through as our recommended soccer pick at +138 to win outright.
This doesn’t mean that Liverpool should be discredited from a result in this clash. Granted road form has left something to be desired on the whole and is too inconsistent to be a reliable marker, but there have been some noteworthy victories here and there. A 5-0 win over the Spurs at White Hart Lane and a 5-2 victory over Stoke City spring to mind. When the Reds are in the mood, they can paint any kop Red. Question is whether they can do so at Arsenal’s stronghold in order to deliver as the +188 underdogs at Bet365. On paper, they can. Matches aren’t played on paper however so it remains to be seen whether they can play to their potential.
Soccer Free Picks: Arsenal to win outright at +138; Over 2.5 at -143