Arsenal v Lincoln City – Emirates at 17:30 live on BT Sport 2

Back to the FA Cup for this weekend’s Asian Handicap previews, with Arsenal hosting non-league Lincoln City.

After the midweek Champions League antic’s both at the Emirates on Tuesday and then the Camp Nou on Wednesday. It seems almost trite to be previewing this match which Arsene Wenger’s side should win with their eyes closed.

However, the Gunners are in desperately bad shape right now and struggled to overcome non-league Sutton in the previous round.

Could another HUGE FA Cup upset be on the cards this Saturday evening?

Arsenal…

Wenger was already under intense pressure from the Arsenal faithful, before Bayern Munich made a mockery of his team on Tuesday night.

Their 10-2 aggregate humiliation, the biggest ever defeat for an English club in the Champions League. Showed just how far behind Europe’s elite the Gunners have fallen, in these barren final years under the Frenchman.

In a funny way a home game against a non-league side this weekend, is the last thing this team needs.

Because they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Anything less than at least a six goal victory, could effectively be deemed a failure, while a draw or an unthinkable defeat, could see a riot break out in the stadium!

It remains to be seen if Wenger decides to play a strong starting eleven or not, but after withdrawing Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud and Alexi Sanchez after 72 minutes against Bayern. It would seem as if he is considering a strong team to crush the visiting minnows.

Mesut Ozil returned to action in midweek and he would seem one that needs time on the pitch, more than most.

Lincoln City…

Danny Cowley’s team have reached the giddy heights of the FA Cup quarter finals, while also dominating the National League.

The Imps are currently six points clear at the top, already looking forward to life in League Two next season.

There amazing cup run has been a great moral boosting side line from the pressures of escaping non-league football.

During the run to the quarter finals, they beat Championship sides Ipswich Town and Brighton, before visiting Premier League Burnley.

When you consider that Burnley and Arsenal have both won 29pts at home in the league this season, Lincoln should fancy their chances this weekend.

Asian Handicap Prices and Data…

Naturally the Gunners are huge favourites to win this match, but this is exactly the type of game where the Asian Handicap market comes into its own.

The line in this match is currently sitting at +/-3, with the home side available to back at 1.89. Needless to say that Arsenal are very rarely as short a price as this and so there is no real way to judge how they performed in similar situations.

The closest comparison I could find in my data is from when they were priced 1.25 or less at home, which only happened 12 times in 4 seasons.

Plus, they were only once shorter than 1.21 in those 12 matches, so it is still not a great data set to use for this match.

Understandably, Arsenal won almost all of these games, with just last season’s 2-0 defeat by West Ham the only reverse.

Interestingly, despite winning 11 of 12, they only covered a -3 Asian Handicap line in one of those games.

Meanwhile, Lincoln have lost just 2 of 18 away games, scoring in all but 2 of those matches as well.

As stated, anything less than a big win could be considered a failure for Arsenal right now. Plus, with the boo boys already out in force, should the team get off to a slow start this could get very awkward for Wenger and his team.

We might well live to regret this but, I simply have to take Arsenal on here, especially with the value on the visiting underdogs

Asian Handicap Recommendation: Lincoln City +3 at 2.13

Prices correct at time of writing.

by @DarkDyson

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