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Leeds United Look to Stun Gunners in FA Cup Replay

19/1/2011
When captain Cesc Fabregas steadied himself to slot home a vital equaliser from the spot in the 90th minute of Arsenal’s FA Cup third round tie with Leeds United, Gunners fans the world over breathed a massive sigh of relief.

However, Arsene Wenger’s men are by no means out of the woods yet and tonight they face the daunting prospect of travelling to Elland Road for a replay against a side who certainly won’t be overly concerned by what they saw in the previous game.

Indeed, if there were two major failings of the North London club that Leeds exposed in their previous encounter, they were how a tight midfield can nullify Arsenal’s attacking threat and just how susceptible their centre-backs can be to counterattacks.

Nevertheless, despite these deficiencies being laid bare in the last match, Arsenal are still rated as 4/7 favourites for the game by Bet365, with the home side priced at 5/1 and the draw at 11/4. While all those bets apply to the normal ninety, should the game go to extra time Leeds and Arsenal are 12/5 and 3/10 to qualify respectively.

In terms of a scoreline, the draw in the first game coupled with Arsenal’s recent 1-0 defeat to Ipswich Town would certainly seem to suggest that they struggle to break down lower league opposition. As such it may be worth backing there being less than 2.5 goals in the game at 13/20 providing Leeds don’t play into Arsenal’s hands by going all-out on the attack in front of their own fans.

In terms of a goalscorer for either team, the 7/1 on Theo Walcott – who drew the ire of Leeds fans for admitting that he dived to win the penalty in the previous game – looks tempting given his virtuoso performance against an admittedly rusty Wayne Bridge in Arsenal’s last Premier League game. For Leeds meanwhile, it is always hard to look past the talents of Luciano Becchio – especially at a price of 9/1.
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