Can Arsenal avoid another upset against Portsmouth?
Odds, preview and betting tips for FA Cup fifth-round tie
What would a good season for Arsenal be at this point? Last week’s surprise Europa League exit leaves the FA Cup as their only chance of silverware. But would lifting the trophy in May be enough?
The Gunners take on Portsmouth in the fifth round tonight – a game that’s now taken on greater significance for the North Londoners.
Arsenal are 4/9 favourites, with Portsmouth at 6/1. It’s 18/5 for the draw.
An Arsenal win to nil is going for 8/5.
In the goalscorer markets, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is 11/5 favourite to score first. Arsenal youngsters Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli are 19/20 and 5/4 respectively to net anytime.
Ronan Curtis is Portsmouth’s likeliest scorer at 14/5 anytime, with Ellis Harrison at 3/1.
Think back to last summer, when the club smashed their transfer record to sign Nicolas Pepe. Kieran Tierney and Dani Ceballos looked like smart and exciting additions too.
The fans were full of optimism and dreaming of a return to the Champions League. But it’s not worked out that way. The club are staring down the barrel of a fourth consecutive year away from the top table. We’ve got them at 12/1 to secure a top-four finish.
Mikel Arteta knew he had a big job on his hands when he replaced Unai Emery in December. Another year without Champions League revenue only makes things more difficult.
The problem he faces is that Arsenal are too big to view winning the FA Cup alone as a major achievement. But they’re not good enough to challenge for the most prized honours yet. Will the Spaniard be able to bridge that gap?
He’ll ring the changes against Kenny Jackett’s side tonight, with Pablo Mari in line for his Arsenal debut in defence. The likes of Joe Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles could also return, with Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli set to start in attack.
The fringe players coming into the line-up will need to deliver. After a dismal display against Olympiakos, the North Londoners can’t afford to be complacent. Portsmouth could catch them out if they are.
Pompey may be in League One, but they’ve won their last 10 games at Fratton Park. They’ve only lost once on their own patch this season too.
With one of Chelsea or Liverpool set to be knocked out this week and Manchester City’s main focus likely to be the Champions League, the path to Wembley could open up for Arsenal. They’ll hope it’s the first stop on the way to bigger things, rather than the destination itself.
View the latest Portsmouth v Arsenal odds.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication