Arsenal vs Ipswich – Chamakh to ensure Arsenal qualify
Arsenal have scored the joint highest number of goals in the Premier League this season and they will need to reproduce this deadliness in front of goal if they want to ensure their spot in the final of the Carling Cup.
Arsene Wenger opted to rotate his squad for the opening leg at Portman Road, but this slightly backfired as Arsenal slumped to a 1-0 defeat.
Although another squad rotation is likely for the second leg, Arsenal are expected to produce a far more devastating display.
Arsenal’s betting odds are 1/7 to beat Ipswich at the Emirates, while it is 1/6 that they overcome their one-goal deficit and qualify for the final.
Their chances are additionally aided by the fact that Ipswich’s away from has been fairly dreadful of late, losing five of their last six games and drawing the other.
However, Ipswich do have the better record against Arsenal historically when the pair have clashed in cup competitions and are 18/1 to repeat their victory in the opening leg.
A draw would also be enough to send Ipswich through to face either West Ham or Blackburn and it is 7/2 that they reach the final.
Arsenal are at their best when attacking teams and controlling possession and they are likely to adopt a siege mentality from the early stages against Ipswich.
However, with Wenger having to coax his squad through a busy period of fixtures, it is slightly tougher to work out which players will start.
The recent return of Robin Van Persie to action has meant that Marouane Chamakh has largely been relegated to the bench, but he should be recalled to face Ipswich in the chief strike role.
Chamakh is 11/4 to score first against Ipswich, while Andrei Arshavin may represent value at the slightly longer odds of 5/1.
A £25 stake on the scorecast of Arsenal beating Ipswich 3-0 and Chamakh scoring first would return £400. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.