How the Bookies See It:
Winner: Arsenal 4/11, Draw 4/1, Preston 8/1 – Boylesports
Both Teams to Score: Yes 8/11, No Evens – Paddy Power
Over/Under 2.5 Goals: Over 4/7, Under 5/4 – Ladbrokes
- Preston are currently sitting in 11th place in the Championship, having won ten, drawn six and lost nine of the 25 matches they have played this season. The team have scored 33 goals against their Championship peers and conceded 32, giving them an average of 1.32 goals scored per match. Preston last played Arsenal in October 1999 in a League Cup match which they lost 2-1. Prior to that, they suffered a 4-2 defeat to Arsenal in what just happened to be another third-round FA Cup match in January 1999. Preston have won the FA Cup twice, and those successes were achieved in 1889 and 1938. They have been runners-up five times, and they last reached the final of this competition in 1964, when they lost to West Ham by 3-2.
- Arsenal have won 12, drawn five and lost three of their 20 Premier League games, and that puts them in 4th place in the table. The Gunners have scored 44 league goals this season and conceded 22, giving them an average of 2.2 goals scored per game. As far as this competition is concerned, Arsenal have a superb record, and have lifted the FA Cup a dozen times. Their most recent FA Cup win was in 2015, when they achieved a 4-0 victory over Aston Villa. In addition to their 12 wins, the Gunners have been runners-up on seven different occasions.
Whilst Preston and Arsenal haven’t played each other for more than 17 years, the results of their previous encounters haven’t been forgotten by any means. Preston will obviously be keen to get their own back for their third-round FA Cup loss to Arsenal in 1999, but the Gunners will be just as keen to replicate that achievement and continue their journey towards yet another final.
As far as recent league form is concerned, we are confident that Arsenal are the team to side with. Preston achieved a 1-0 win over Burton in their most recent match on Monday 2nd January, but that was only their third win from their last eight Championship matches. Arsenal, by comparison, have won five of their last eight Premier League games. Their most recent match on Tuesday 3rd January resulted in a 3-3 draw with Bournemouth, but they had to come back from 3-0 down, so even that draw was quite an achievement.
Add in the fact that Arsenal is playing at a whole different level to Preston, and has a much better record in this competition, and we can see no reason to oppose the favourites. The price that is currently available about them isn’t much to shout about, but is probably a fair reflection of their chances.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Arsenal to win – 4/11 with SkyBet
*Please note that odds may fluctuate in the run-up to kick-off.