Sheff Utd vs. Arsenal
A former bookie breaks ranks to reveal today’s best bets.
Sheff Utd take on the Arsenal youngsters this evening in the Carling Cup, and there is divided opinion as to how short the London side should be for tonight’s encounter in Sheffield. One bookie quotes as big as 8-13 on Arsenal, while others are going 1-2. I notice at time of writing that Arsene Wenger’s boys are 1.61 on WBX.
Sheffield United have a relatively good record against Arsenal over the years. In the Premier League last season they won 1-0 in Sheffield, and lost 3-0 at the Emirates. But in the FA Cup in the 2004/5 season, you may remember Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw at Highbury and then they held in the replay, until the Gunners won it in extra time. And in the 2002/3 season Sheffield United were only beaten 1-0 in the FA Cup by Arsenal.
This season’s Carling Cup has seen Sheffield United beat poor opposition to get here. They won 3-1 at home to Chesterfield, then were taken to extra time away against Milton Keynes, and finally beat Morecombe 5-0. Arsenal’s youngsters beat Newcastle 2-0 in the last round, and the team line-ups are very important. The question you have to ask yourself is what price would you be a fully fit first team Arsenal outfit here? And what price a complete second team? It is difficult isn’t it? Hence the differences in opinions among leading bookmakers.
Sheffield United keeper Paddy Kenny is sidelined with a badly bruised shin, so Ian Bennett will be in goal, and with both Gary Cahill and Phil Bardsley cup-tied it means that Chris Morgan and Chris Lucketti could earn recalls. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks likely to play Nicklas Bendtner, Theo Walcott and Denilson. Pole Lukasz Fabianski is expected to be in goal, with young Italian Vito Mannone on the bench.
With home advantage I expect this game to be close, but I expect goals and a high tempo game to ensue but I will be waiting until I get confirmation that James Beattie plays up front for Sheffield United before getting too heavily involved, and I would also like to see who is playing for Arsenal. As it seems that in form Theo Walcott will be up front, I am hopeful Beattie plays as I can see 3 or 4 goals in this game if both take to the field and I would like to be with over 2.5 goals at 1.90. If I were backing correct scores, I would have a small wager on Arsenal 1-2 and the 2-2 draw, but whatever you are going to do here ensure you know the line-ups before placing a bet.
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