Match Preview: Cardiff City v Arsenal (The FA Cup)
This game features two sides who love to get the ball down and play it, so it should make interesting viewing for the neutral. Last year’s finalists Cardiff have had a very good season by all accounts and currently sit in 6th position in the Championship. Arsenal on the other hand have been slightly disappointing and after performing so well for much of last season, only sit in 5th place in the top flight.
The fact that so many Premiership clubs are looking at many of Cardiff’s players speaks volumes for how well the Welsh side are performing at the moment. The likes of Joe Ledley, Rodger Johnson, Ross McCormack and Paul Parry have caught the eye of many clubs yet Cardiff have so far stood strong and refused to sell any of their star men. At the moment they’re in the final play off spot in the Championship although with the Bluebirds also having a game in hand, all looks good for Dave Jones’ men at the moment. They haven’t lost since mid-November and having beaten the likes of Birmingham, Reading and Preston in recent weeks, they’re in very good form and betting patterns suggest a few people believe an upset could occur here.
As for Arsenal, a poor start to the season has hindered Arsene Wenger’s men in the race for the title and it now looks as though they are well and truly out of the hunt. The Gunners are six points behind leaders Manchester United which is a huge gap at this stage of the season, especially with United also having a game in hand. However, after struggling for consistency in the early parts of the season, things finally start to be coming together for the Gunners. They’ve won their last four games and while those haven’t been against any of the so called bigger sides, it’s still proof that they’re making progress. They were knocked out of this competition at an early stage last season and with the Premiership title looking unlikely now, Wenger knows it’s important to at least progress at this stage.
In terms of team news, there’s not much to report for Cardiff with Peter Whittingham being the only absentee. Whittingham will miss out with a hamstring injury but Paul Parry is waiting in the wings to replace the midfielder. As for Arsenal, Arsene Wenger is expected to give a few fringe players a chance in this one. However, one or two experienced pros are tipped to start with William Gallas being one of those after the former Chelsea man recovered from a hamstring injury.
Gooner Talk’s Predicted Starting XI
Sagna – Toure – Djourou – Gibbs
Eboue – Denilson – Diaby – Nasri
Bendtner – van Persie
Match Prediction: Cardiff City 0-2 Arsenal
Gooner Streams will provide live stream links of this Premier League clash on GoonerStreams.com. Post-match highlights will be avaliable at midnight on Gooner Talk for those of you who were unable to watch the game.
Leave your views and predictions of today’s game – which kicks off at 13:30 BST time – in the comments section below.