Go under at the Emirates

  • By: Dave Tickner and Ian Brindle
  • Last Updated: February 16 2014, 15:30 GMT

Arsenal host Liverpool in Sunday's standout FA Cup fifth-round clash, and it's hard to consider this game without their recent league encounter at Anfield dominating your thoughts, writes Dave Tickner.

Expect fewer goals this weekend than last when Arsenal meet Liverpool
Expect fewer goals this weekend than last when Arsenal meet Liverpool

Liverpool were simply sensational, racing into a 4-0 first-half lead and eventually winning 5-1 against a battered and broken Arsenal side whose season is embarking on a defining period.

After this game, Arsenal face Bayern Munich in the Champions League, with the second leg of that clash followed by league games against Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton.

The match betting for this cup clash is tightening up, with Arsenal drifting and Liverpool being cut. By kick-off it could be a 6/4 pick 'em or even Liverpool slight favourites.

That's perhaps understandable given what happened at Anfield, but Arsenal have been a different beast on their own turf. They're backable at the current prices and may yet become more appealing still, but the bet that stands out is under 2.5 goals at odds-against quotes.

There's no denying this could go very wrong, very fast - it would have been lost inside 20 minutes at Anfield - but Arsenal's home stats make a strong case.

Under 2.5 goals has been the result in this market in their last 12 games at the Emirates against top-flight opposition. They beat Liverpool 2-0 here in the league, and have kept 14 clean sheets in 20 home games. They responded to a 6-3 thrashing at Manchester City with a 0-0 home draw against Chelsea, and repeated that trick with a goalless draw against Manchester United on Wednesday night after the Anfield humiliation.

Liverpool, for all their stunning goalscoring efforts this season, have been shut out here already, lost 1-0 at Manchester United in the Capital One Cup and netted only one goal apiece at Stamford Bridge and the Etihad.

An Arsenal clean sheet is well worth a look at Coral's 13/4 - the Gunners haven't conceded in seven home games since a 1-1 draw against Everton - but I'll play slightly safer and go for the unders.

Meanwhile, Cup king Roberto Martinez will be hoping that some of that magic can rub off on Everton as they play host to Swansea in the early kick-off of the day, writes Ian Brindle.

It's hard to believe that 19 years have passed since the Toffees landed their fifth FA Cup and they can take one step closer to Wembley here.

In clubs' five meetings since the Swans took their place in the Premier League, they have lost four and drawn the other, and Garry Monk is unlikely to be on the receiving end of an old pal's act from his former team-mate.

Everton have had the benefit of not playing in midweek while Swansea had to slug it out in a 1-1 draw at Stoke and that could be a telling factor in the closing stages of this game. Despite a 3-0 victory over Welsh rivals Cardiff, Swansea have looked largely toothless without Michu and much will rely on the performance of Wilfried Bony if the Spaniard remains an absentee.

The Blues have had problems of their own in recent weeks with defeats against Liverpool and Tottenham, but they showed themselves capable of handling a battle when prevailing against Aston Villa, and Kevin Mirallas comes into the match having scored in three of the last five matches.

Everton are fancied to go through but at the prices on offer it's easy to leave this game alone from a betting perspective.

The name of Clough is synonymous with Nottingham Forest and Nigel welcomes his former club to Bramall Lane in his capacity as manager of League One outfit Sheffield United.

United have already taken the scalps of Fulham and Aston Villa in the competition so far, even though they sit in the relegation zone of English football's third tier at present. Yet, much of this is down to their away form as a home record of six wins and five draws compares favourably to a number of clubs placed higher in that division.

Forest play their football in the Championship and a tally of 12 draws is among the highest in the division. To some extent, their progress has been hampered by persistent injury problems within the squad but Jamie Paterson has proved a wise acquisition over the summer and the former Walsall man's brace against Huddersfield saw them extend their unbeaten league run to 13 matches.

It's a big week for Forest with a vital home match against Leicester coming up in midweek and, with promotion the aim, they will not wish to be taking on any replays.

They might just be good enough to win this without the need for a second game but Paterson represents the value, with his confidence in front of goal compelling enough to merit a small bet on him scoring first as he has in two of his last four appearances away from home.

  • The Arsenal match is live on BT Sport and the Everton game is live on ITV.


New Sky Bet customers: Free matched bet up to £30