We may not boast the best record in our six League Cup Finals but there is really no big reason why we shouldn't be able to get the result over Birmingham tonight. Arsenal have only been able to secure the trophy in two of our six previous attempts.
The bookmakers are confident in the Gunners securing our first piece of silverware in the better part of six years with a victory in regular time paying out a relatively slim 1/2 margin. An anytime victory bet on Arsenal to lift the trophy pays a mere 1/4.
Birmingham are a full 6/1 for the 90 minute victory and a 3/1 payout would take us to extra time.
We're unbeaten in five matches against Alex McLeish's men and they have been shipping goals left and right lately, so there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to grab at least two goals if we go out there and play to potential. Birmingham haven't kept a clean sheet in a while.
Set pieces are likely going to be the make or break factor and they represent Birmingham's best chance to get a result here. If we can defend well from those positions we'll be tough to beat.
A really nice outside bet for this one is to back an anytime red card. There is a fair amount of bad blood between the two sides and Jack Wilshere saw red last October with Lee Bowyer getting sent off in the reverse fixture. A red card pays out at 3/1, which is slightly higher odds than usual.
Alex Song will be an important factor if we're going to keep Birmingham's offense contained and he's a decent shout to see the first card of the match at an 8/1 price.
Arsenal are heavily-favoured to score first in this match, carrying a 4/11 price but Birmingham wouldn't be a major surprise if they were to open the scoring. The bookmakers have them floated at 11/5 to do so and the better selection there would be to back Birmingham to score first and Arsenal to score last at 4/1.
If Andrei Arshavin gets the start, he'll likely be the one to watch against Birmingham. He's the right player for matches like this and he's priced at 13/8 for an anytime goal. Samir Nasri is obviously hard to discount and he's priced at 11/8 for an anytime goal.
Arsenal to win in extra time is an enticing 7/1 and if you reckon Birmingham will really be up for this one, that's a decent selection. If we play to potential, there isn't any reason why we shouldn't emerge as 3-1 or 2-1 winners.
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