Back Manchester City for FA Cup success pushing Arsene Wenger closer to the brink at Arsenal
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are strong favourites to beat Arsenal, who travel in hope, rather than expectation, to Wembley on Sunday for a record 29th FA Cup semifinal appearance.
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The two sides met just three weeks ago in the Premier League playing out a pulsating 2-2 draw at the Emirates. City led twice but threw the lead away on both occasions with some dodgy defending, typical of much of their season so far. But City have managed to reserve some of their better defensive performances for this competition, keeping clean sheets in six of their last eight FA Cup matches. City are 3-1 to win to NIL with most firms, which looks a sound proposition, especially with skipper Vincent Kompany set to return to shore up the defence.
City can be backed with confidence to overcome Arsene Wenger’s misfiring side who look there for the taking, judging by the evidence of a recent woeful 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace. The Gunners, FA Cup winners in 2014 and 2015, look dispirited and the end of the season can’t come soon enough. Back City to win at 5-6 with Matchbook in 90 minutes.
Interestingly, City have been leading at both half time and full time in six of their last eight FA Cup ties, so the 52-25 with Marathon is also worth serious consideration.
Wenger experimented with a back three for the first time in 20 years when the Gunners struggled past relegation-bound Middlesbrough 2-1 on Monday evening, but it would be a huge gamble against a City side blessed with numerous potent attacking options.
You can make a case for any of the likes of Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane to break the deadlock, while brilliant Brazil youngster Gabriel Jesus could return ahead of schedule from injury on Sunday.
Sergio Aguero is the clear favourite at 7-2 though. The Argentinian has a tremendous scoring record against the Gunners in recent seasons, while Alexis Sanchez remains the only genuine world-class player at Arsenal and is 13-2 to open the scoring.