Gunners to keep the door firmly shut on visiting Sky Blues

THE FA Cup returns tonight with Arsenal kicking off a packed weekend programme as they host Coventry.

Considering the Gunners are top of the Premier League, and the only defeat they’ve suffered at the Emirates in their last 10 outings was against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup, it’s no surprise Arsene Wenger’s men are as short as 1/9 to beat the Sky Blues, who are 11th in League One.

Rarely would you ever see a team as big as 30/1 to win a match, but that’s the damning verdict from the bookmakers about the task facing Steven Pressley’s side.

Despite losing just one of their last 11 games, not even the most optimistic away fan can realistically expect anything other than a loss.

Trying to find a decent bet in such a one-sided game can be difficult, but I’m surprised to see Arsenal as big as 4/5 to win to nil with Star Sports. They’ve kept four clean sheets in a row at home and eight from their last nine matches in north London. It looks a great bet to get the weekend off to a flyer.

Watford (33/1) at Manchester City are the only team at a bigger price to win their FA Cup fixture than Coventry – and it’s not hard to see why. Only European champions Bayern Munich have visited the Etihad this term and escaped defeat.

The City juggernaut, led by Alvaro Negredo, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko, backed up by arguably the best midfielder in the world, Yaya Toure, has been unstoppable of late.

Manuel Pellegrini’s stars have banged in 106 goals already this season, which is a landmark at this stage. Their form has led Sporting Index to predict City will break bitter rivals Manchester United’s long-standing record, set by the Busby Babes, of 143 goals in the 1956-57 season, by 19.

Watford have had a shocker this campaign, winning just seven of 25 league games, and the Hornets languish 15th in the Championship. They met City in this competition last season and were brushed aside 3-0.

A similar margin of victory for the hosts is the least we should expect and buying their supremacy at 2.8 with Sporting Index looks worthy of a decent investment.

Finally, Liverpool once again showed their inconsistency in failing to beat Aston Villa at home last Saturday and I don’t think they’ll get things all their own way at Bournemouth tomorrow.

The Reds have lost four on the road in the league and didn’t break down Oldham at Anfield until the second half in the third round. At 15/4 with Star Sports the draw/Liverpool HT/FT result appeals.

Pointers…
Arsenal to win to nil at 4/5 with Star Sports
Buy Man City supremacy v Watford at 2.8 with Sporting Index
Draw/Liverpool at 15/4 with Star Sports