Wenger’s patient Arsenal to prevail against Mackay’s spirited Cardiff
Arsenal are sweeping all before them at present however Cardiff are no pushovers and it may not be until the second half that the table-toppers can master Malky Mackay’s side.
Cardiff have been level at half-time in seven of their last eight Premier League matches and the Draw/Arsenal bet makes plenty of appeal at 10/3.
Alternatively the 6/5 about the game being level at half-time is another one for punters to consider very carefully.
Bet on the game to be level at half-time at 6/5
Arsenal currently top the standings due to a combination of factors.
Their midfield has more bite to it since the re-acquisition of Mathieu Flamini however the form of Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil is the key.
Both are providing a piercing quality to the Gunners’ build-up play and with Jack Wilshire starting to benefit from more minutes on the pitch, it is a scary triumvirate for teams to face.
Whilst Ramsey has scored 11 goals in all competitions – including six away from home – Olivier Giroud has been the main goal-threat for Arsenal.
The French centre-forward has seven league goals to his name and is 5/4 to score at anytime, but the better bet looks to be Jack Wilshire.
Wenger rates him very highly and the young Englishman scored two in the Champions League midweek and the 11/2 about him hitting the target again is appealing.
Bet on Jack Wilshire to score anytime at 11/2
Across the team-sheets, Frazier Campbell has only scored three goals in the Premier League this season; however they have come against Man Utd and Man City.
Both games were at the Cardiff City Stadium and the former Manchester United player – who Cardiff signed from Sunderland for just £650,000 – looked in fine form last weekend.
As well as scoring, he hit the bar with an exquisite chip, and his price of 8/1 doesn’t accurately reflect his form at present.
There is no doubt that Cardiff raise their intensity for the big games at home; they have also drawn with Everton and only lost to Tottenham via a 90th minute Paulinho winner.
As mentioned above, their first-half record is very good but the same can’t be said for the second period.
This is probably due to tiredness from their effort and exertions in the first hour of games and the stats show that they have conceded nine of their 17 goals this season after 60 minutes.
Over 1.5 goals in the second half is Evens.
Bet on over 1.5 second-half goals at Evens
Arsenal have no new injury worries and the ease of their victory against Marseille means that there will be no tiredness or jaded-player excuses on Saturday.
Cardiff also have no injury worries and there is every chance that Kim Bo-Kyung could start after his late equaliser against Man Utd.
However the first-half performance against United was strong and Bo-Kyung’s winner was as much down to a lack of marking from Patrice Evra than anything else.
Looking to past league clashes between the team is pretty fruitless as they haven’t met for 51 years.
Arsenal have won four of the last five cup games between the sides however and should emerge from this testing afternoon with a hard-fought three points.
Draw/Arsenal half-time/full-time result at 10/3