Reading v Arsenal – Wembley at 17:20 live on BBC 1
The FA Cup returns to our screens this weekend with just four teams remaining on the road to Wembley…..oh hang on a minute! We’ve got the professionals view on the Asian handicap betting markets for Reading’s daunting trip to the home of football, where they will face current holders Arsenal for a place in the final.
Arsene Wenger’s side are potentially just 90 minutes away from a second successive FA Cup final appearance and the fans will be confident of turning that into a second successive FA Cup final victory. Their most likely opponents in the final are Liverpool, who were recently humbled 4-1 at the Emirates.
The Gunners won their eighth straight match in all competitions at the weekend and are clearly firing on all cyclinders right now, with striker Olivier Giroud notching seven goals during those eight games, the FA Cup looks like theirs to lose.
The holders have been priced up extremely short for the semi-final, at around 1.28 and even the most ardent of Reading fans must be worried that their team is on a hiding to nothing, on the vast expanses of the hallowed Wembley turf.
Looking at Reading’s current form it is clear to see why most people expect a comfortable win for the Gunners tomorrow evening. The Royals have not won in five games and have only tasted victory in two of their last ten in all competitions, however they are proving difficult to beat as they have only lost three of those ten.
One positive for Steve Clarke and his team to cling onto is their FA Cup record this season, which saw them win three times in a row away from home, before drawing on the road at Bradford and winning the replay at the Madejski in the previous round.
Their run to the semi-finals has been built upon a pleasantly surprising solidity in their defence and with just two goals conceded over their five FA Cup games, they will be aiming to keep things tight at the back against Arsenal as well, in the hope they can nick a goal on the break.
Arsenal have not quite had it all their own way on their journey back to Wembley, as they were pushed all the way by Brighton after leading 2-0 with just 24 minutes played. Nevertheless the 2-1 win at Old Trafford in the quarter-final, demonstrates just how well they are playing at the moment.
The Asian handicap betting line for this match has the Gunners -1.75 at 2.02 and having scored at least two goals in all of their previous FA Cup games, they should be able to do at least the same again tomorrow against weaker opposition in Reading.
The FA Cup is still capable of causing upsets and we saw plenty along the way this season but it’s virtually impossible to make a case for Reading here and we fully expect to see Arsene Wenger and his team safely ease into the final by sweeping aside a poor Reading outfit.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Arsenal -1.75 at 2.02
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