Blackpool v Arsenal Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
January 02, 2019
Bloomfield Road - FA Cup
Arsenal face Blackpool for the second time in three months as the Gunners travel to the League One side for FA Cup action. The Tangerines have been in poor form of late, and go into the game without a win in four.
Stephan Lichsteiner and Emile Smith-Rowe scored within 50 minutes to earn the Gunners the win back in October, despite Paudie O'Connor's second-half goal.
Unai Emery fielded a vastly unexperienced XI when the sides last met, and is expected to do so again. The likes of Julio Pleguezuelo, Emile Smith-Rowe and Carl Jenkinson may get rare starts, with Petr Cech also available having been eased back from injury.
Terry McPhillips has fewer options available to him, and will want an extended cup run, so is unlikely to make many changes to the side that drew to Sunderland. Premier League fans may recognise Jay Spearing, with the former Liverpool midfielder likely to show out for the Tangerines.
Blackpool v Arsenal Preview and Predictions
With the season nearing the half-way point, Emery's start to life at Arsenal can best be described as inconsistent.
An unexpected 22 game unbeaten run was ended by Premier Leagues strugglers Southampton, and subsequently followed by defeat in a North London derby, and, more recently, a drubbing at the hands of Liverpool. As a result, many Arsenal fans went into the new year feeling pessimistic, despite signs looking good for 2019.
On Saturday, the Gunners face a Blackpool side that has also fallen off from a strong spell. The Seasiders enjoyed a five game winning streak in November, but have struggled with a hectic Christmas schedule, playing four matches over nine days, losing all of them.
McPhillips has seen has side drop down the table to 10th place, and travel to league leaders Portsmouth after their tie against Arsenal. The manager will have been impressed with his teams recent performance against Sunderland, despite a defeat, but will be concerned with their struggles up front. Not a single Brighton player has scored more than five goals so far this season, with the team hitting the target just once in their last four games.
Against Arsenal, the home side will have to be far more prolific, as they are unlikely to get more than a few chances on goal, if any. Emery's side may not be in the best form, yet will be keen to use the game to rebuild some confidence, whilst resting key players after their own busy festive season.
With the January transfer window underway, and the Gunners boss charged with rebuilding the squad, players' futures may well be an interesting subplot to Saturday's game. Arsenal are, as expected, the favourites, at 1/4, with the draw after 90 minutes 6/1 and Blackpool out to 11s.
Ainsely Maitland-Niles to score anytime at 4/1
The lively winger was once of few players to impress against Liverpool, and will hope to start in his natural position rather than as a full-back on Saturday.
Arsenal to win by 2 goals at 3/1
Blackpool simply don't have the firepower at the moment to pose a threat to the Gunners back line, despite their struggles in recent weeks.