Gunners odds-on to progress

The Gunners will be uplifted by the return of Thierry Henry

Arsenal play hosts to Leeds United in their bid to make it into the FA Cup fourth round for the 16th consecutive season. The home side have lost just once in 35 FA Cup matches at home under Arsene Wenger, but it was Leeds that brought about that defeat in a 1-0 victory in 1997 and the visitors will be hoping for a repeat of that here.

Wenger has a huge number of defensive issues with no fewer than six defenders sidelined. Thomas Vermaelen, Kieran Gibbs, Bacary Sagna, Carl Jenkinson and Andre Santos are all out due to injury and Johan Djourou is serving a suspension. Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby are still nursing long-term injuries and will also join the long list of unavailable players.

The Gunners will be uplifted by the return of Thierry Henry who has just signed a short-term loan deal for the club where he is the highest scoring player ever. It is likely he will feature in the match at some point and this will be a huge boost for morale.

Leeds are also without plenty of their first team squad and on Tuesday they were delivered a massive blow with the news that centre-back Patrick Kisnorbo will be sideined for the rest of the season with a knee injury. Captain Jonny Howson and in-form striker Robert Snodgrass are two massive players that are unavailable for selection and they are joined in the treatment room by Alex Bruce, Tom Lees and Leigh Bromby.

Danny Pugh and Andros Townsend have both just completed loan deals to join the club and they should both feature in the starting line-up.

Leeds United have made themselves big nuisances to Premiership sides in recent cup matches and the Championship side have the chance of yet another big upset here. The Whites started their season impressively and were running along at a fine old pace until three consecutive defeats in December saw them stutter badly. However, one thing Leeds will not be lacking in this massive clash is determination and they are capable of giving Arsenal a real tough time. They ran out a 2-1 result over Burnley at the weekend and that will have boosted their confidence at the perfect time. Boss Simon Grayson will be sure to have his side perfectly prepared for this and with Arsenal's defensive worries combined with the Peacocks spirit and character, they could give the home side a real tough time.

Arsenal had a very poor start to the new season, which saw boss Arsene Wenger put under huge pressure. But the Gunners seem to have found their feet again and are now sitting in fifth position of the Premier League. They have managed to slightly improve their worrying defensive issues but they are still fragile and keeping clean-sheets is proving somewhat hard to come by and this is what the visitors will be looking to take advantage of. However, the class that Arsenal do have, along with the fact that Leeds have conceded a large number of away goals this season, should see the Gunners through safely at the end of the match.

Recommended Bets:

Both teams to score @ 5/6 with Bet365

Written By:- Louise Clarke (About our Authors)
Posted on:- 09/01/2012 - 12:29 PM
Filed in:- Arsenal Betting News, Arsenal

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