FA Cup betting: Back Under 2.5 Goals at Odds Against when Arsenal play WatfordPublished March 10, 2016
Arsenal came through their FA Cup 5th round replay at Hull City with a comfortable 4-0 victory, ending a run of five games without a win.
The two-time defending FA Cup holders secured their quarter-final place with two goals apiece from the out-of-form Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott but it wasn’t all good news, with Per Mertesacker, Gabriel Paulista and Aaron Ramsey all going off injured.
After the game Arsene Wenger seemed reasonably confident that Mertesacker and Gabriel would soon be back, but was more concerned as to Ramsey who looked to have picked up a thigh injury.
Wenger must decide who he wants to risk against Watford, but with Petr Cech; Laurent Koscielny; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain; Santi Cazorla; Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky still all sidelined, he can’t afford to rest too many first-choice players against a capable Watford team.
The Gunners travel to Barcelona seeking to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the 1st leg on Wednesday. Quite frankly, that isn’t going to happen, so Arsenal should really be able to send out something close to their strongest available starting XI here. Even so, Wenger has few problems with regards to the availability of his attacking players, so it would seem highly likely that Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez will be consigned to bench duty at best, just to keep his most creative talents fresh for the unlikeliest of comebacks in Barcelona.
Watford are already all but safe in the Premier League, so their season now largely revolves around the FA Cup. They’ve struggled for goals in 2016, with only eight scored in all competitions in 13 matches. Odion Ighalo, so prolific in the first-half of the season, has only scored three goals this year to date and none in his last seven games.
The Hornets have not been easy to breakdown themselves either, with just four goals conceded in their last eight matches. That’s been evident in all three of Watford’s FA Cup ties this season, all of which have resulted in 1-0 wins. To date the Hornets have seen off Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest and Leeds United. Not top quality opposition perhaps, but they’ve done what’s required of them.
Quique Sanchez Flores has built a team that is difficult to beat and with Arsenal beginning to struggle with injuries, likely to rest their most influential attacking players and this being their seventh game in 22 days, this could well be a tight, low-scoring game.