A reserve match and an upset in Cardiff
We’ve got the thrills and spills of the Carling Cup to keep us entertained tonight, with Arsenal Reserves vs Manchester City Reserves getting top-billing by the Sky TV overlords.
November 29th, 2011
In truth, Manchester City’s reserve side is still probably more than capable of beating most sides in the Premier League but still, it won’t quite be the City side that has been ripping apart the league this season.
That’s partly because Mario Balotelli and Gareth Barry are both sat on the naughty step for this match and whilst we’ve not had many clues as to what side Roberto Mancini will put out, we do expect a few fringe players to get the nod, including one Owen Hargreaves.
Arsenal are also likely to rest a few of their star players, with Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Abou Diaby all expected to miss out, with Park Ju-young and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain expected to lead the line.
So all things considered, can Man City end a 36 year wait for a win at Arsenal? We think that they can. At 7/5 with Victor Chandler, they’re slight favourites in this one and we’re not convinced that Arsenal are the same side without Van Persie.
Don’t get us wrong, the Gunners are on form even if they did get away with a point at home to Fulham, but we’re going to back a low-scoring City success at the Emirates.
Elsewhere in the quarter finals, Cardiff is your most likely place for an upset as they host crisis-club Blackburn Rovers.
In what is likely to be a rather subdued and emotional atmosphere at the Cardiff City Stadium, Malky Mackay’s Championship side will be looking to put another nail in Steve Kean’s coffin and continue their good run of form.
The Bluebirds are unbeaten in the last eight whilst Blackburn were left rooted to the bottom of the table after their 3-1 defeat at Stoke on Saturday.
You can get 7/5 on a home victory and 4/5 on Cardiff to qualify – we think that’s worth a cheeky punt.
Arsenal v Manchester City: Manchester City – 7/5 (Victor Chandler)
Cardiff City v Blackburn Rovers: Cardiff – 7/5 (General)