Arsenal v Birmingham Betting Odds

four of the last six Carling Cup finals have seen in excess of two goals during normal time.

Arsenal take on Birmingham City at Wembley this Sunday afternoon in the 2011 Carling Cup final. Many expect this to be a formality for the Gunners but with the burden of five trophyless seasons weighing heavy on their young shoulders, all the pressure is on the favourites.

Arsene Wenger will be without both captain Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott who are ruled out with hamstring and ankle injuries respectively. However, Robin van Persie should be restored to attack - flanked by Andrey Arshavin and Samir Nasri - with Laurent Kosicielny back in defence.

Alex McLeish will give Alexander Hleb every chance to prove his fitness, with the Belarusian's inclusion sure to add quality and experience against his former club. However, one-time Gunner, David Bentley, is cup tied though fellow loanee, Obefemi Martins, could start up front.

Gunners Face Brum Deal

Arsenal are currently in tremendous form, unbeaten in eleven on all fronts with nine wins. Their last defeat came at Ipswich in the semi final first leg of this competition before a comfortable 3-0 win in the return fixture enabled them to reach their second Carling Cup final in five years.

The Gunners have faltered on two other occasions in cup competition this year, held by both Leeds United and Leyton Orient, but can be expected to prevail in what could be the first of three final appearances at Wembley this season.

Since overcoming West Ham to reach this final, Birmingham have been on a fine run with four wins from six in the league and cup. The Blues have had mixed fortunes against the top Premier League sides this term, beating Chelsea at home and earning a point against Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham.

However, they were beaten home and away by Arsenal and have lost three of the last four meetings - their last win dating back to May 2005. Arsenal are 8/15 to win in normal time with Birmingham available at 6/1 and the Draw 3/1.

McLeish's Cup Men No Mugs

Four of the last five meetings between these sides have produced at least three goals, as have eight of Birmingham's nine domestic cup encounters this campaign and five of Arsenal's eight. Additionally, four of the last six Carling Cup finals have seen in excess of two goals during normal time. Birmingham have failed to score against Arsenal just once in the last six meetings so Over 2.5 Goals has some appeal at 5/6 with Both Teams To Score around 10/11.

Five of the previous 11 league cup finals have ended 2-1 after 90 minutes and 8/1 is on offer for Arsenal to win by the same scoreline. Yet, three of the last six finals have gone to extra time, one of which required penalties to settle the contest. Birmingham lost the 2001 final to Liverpool on spot-kicks and for those expecting this match to be extended, Arsenal can be backed to win in Extra Time at 10/1 with a penalty shoot-out victory available at 14/1.

Arsenal's Samir Nasri has scored in his last three appearances against Birmingham and has three Carling Cup goals to his name this season. The French midfielder can be backed at 7/1 to break the deadlock with Nikola Zigic - who has three strikes in his last four games and netted at the Emirates back in October - 7/2 to score at any time.

Written By:- Phil Haigh (About our Authors)
Posted on:- 25/02/2011 - 14:21 PM
Filed in:- Premier League Betting News, Arsenal

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