So the big day is finally here and we will all be glued to our TVs in a couple of hours, except for the lucky ones that actually get to the game, or even watch it live at the Emirates. I am not so lucky but I am really confident of getting an easy win for the Gunners and will be having a few bets to give me some added excitement.
Arsenal have already beaten Villa 5-0 and 3-0 this season, so I am going to have a small 2 quid punt on 4-0 (in the middle!) at an attractive 18/1 although Arsene Wenger doesn’t think the earlier games will have much effect today. “You don’t know if it will have any impact,” he said on Arsenal.com. “You are always in a position where you just think, ‘It’s the quality of your game on the day that matters’. You can beat a team 10 times but if you don’t turn up with a good performance on the 11th then you can lose the game.
“I believe the final is a 50:50 and then of course you want to win it and take advantage of your strengths. I just think you focus on preparing the team well for the day because a good preparation breeds confidence and from that confidence you are in a good position to win it.”
Wenger may think it is 50:50 but the bookies certainly don’t agree with him as Arsenal are very hot favourites and not worth betting simply to win, unless you are putting on thousands of pounds. I am afraid I am not rich so I am looking for a few value bets. First off I do believe it will be an open game with lots of goals, although I have just seen a tweet from Free bets Odd News recommending a simple 1-0 win for Arsenal. I can’t see it myself and I’m looking at Arsenal to win 3-2 or 4-2 at 25/1 and 50/1 respectively. Again these will just be small stakes.
Back to Wenger’s words, and he is obviously impressed with Aston Villa’s scoring potential. He said: “They are dangerous in the air, from set-pieces, from crosses, with Benteke who is absolutely magnificent on set-pieces,” Wenger warned. “They have good quality in midfield as well, where they all played very well against Liverpool (in the semifinal).
“Grealish, [Fabien] Delph and [Ashley] Westwood – they also have [Charles] N’Zogbia, players who can make a difference. Overall they are a team who have had a bad spell in the league but, when they need it, they have shown that they have the quality and they have done that against Liverpool.”
We all know just how good Arsenal are when they are in full-flow, but with the occasional defensive lapse. It may well be that Arsenal are the team defending early, on after the shock they got last year against Hull, but I expect the game to open up a lot more after half-time, or if one team scores early. So my (reasonably confident prediction is Arsenal to win, but BOTH teams to score at a very generous 5/2.
Have some’o’that! Get in you Gooners Goals! Goals! Goals!