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Preston v Arsenal: Hosts ready to hand Wenger more problems

| 07.01.2017

Arsenal could have done without an Emirates FA Cup Third Round trip to a Championship side who really don’t like losing at home. But that’s the situation Arsene Wenger finds himself in.

And after a thrilling, but exhausting 3-3 draw with Bournemouth in midweek, how will Arsenal cope when they head to Preston North End?

The Deepdale outfit are going well in the second tier, and sit just six points off the play-offs.

And the inaugural Football League champions have lost only two of their last ten on home soil.

So plenty will be backing Simon Grayson’s men for an upset, especially at 11/2.

But that may be disrespecting the man who has won more FA Cups than any other manager in history.

Wenger has always taken the world’s oldest football competition seriously, and the Gunners could do with bouncing back.

Having won just two of their last five, the London side are 4/9 favourites to march into the Fourth Round. However, more value might lie with Arsenal to win and both teams to score at 15/8.

That was certainly the case on Arsenal’s last visit to this part of Lancashire, albeit after a scare.

The Gunners prevailed 4-2 back in 1999, coming from 2-0 down.

We’ve going 14/1 Preston take another two-goal lead this weekend, only for the Gunners to prevail.

And should the Premier League outfit get the job done once again, Olivier Giroud is the man many will tip to be among the goals.

The Frenchman is in scintillating form, and is 10/3 favourite to break the deadlock.

Alexis Sanchez is 7/2, but it remains to be seen whether Wenger rests his frustrated star.

But this should be the fixture where Arsenal fans see the return of Danny Welbeck.

The England international has yet to feature this season, but is 23/20 to net anytime, while Lucas Perez is 5/4 to score after his fine strike in midweek.

Grayson will rue the suspension of Jermaine Beckford this weekend, especially after the two combined to knock out Manchester United at this stage in 2010 when at Leeds.

Jordan Hugill and Callum Robinson are deemed the hosts’ most likely first scorers, at 9/1 and 10/1 respectively.

But whichever way this tie goes – it’s set to be close – we should see goals on Saturday evening.

Both teams have scored in six of Arsenal’s last eight in all competitions, with the same applying to Preston in seven of eight.

And that makes 8/11 on both teams netting the pick of this Third Round contest.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing



Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.