Things are rather good for Arsenal right now after six wins from seven games, but as is so often the case with the north London club and Arsene Wenger, things can change incredibly swiftly.
The Gunners follow up their 2-1 Premier League win over Everton on Saturday with a League Cup trip tonight to Sheffield Wednesday, who themselves are enjoying a good phase.
The Championship side are unbeaten in seven games – including a 1-0 win in the second round at Newcastle – and the Owls sit ninth in England’s second tier.
Indeed the Yorkshire club have lost only three times at Hillsborough in 2015, a fine record from the 20 games played in that spell and they’ll have every reason to believe another upset is on the cards.
That’s despite a somewhat leaky defence which has maintained just one clean sheet in the last five games, ahead of the first meeting between the sides since Wednesday were relegated from the Premier League 15 years ago.
Arsene Wenger put out a strong side in the previous round against Tottenham, and he looks likely to do the same again, with Petr Cech set to start in the absence of the injured David Ospina.
With Per Mertesacker, Calum Chambers, Kieran Gibbs, Tottenham-conqueror Mathieu Flamini and Joel Campbell all set to feature, Wenger will be confident and eager for his side to reach the fifth round inside 90 minutes, with a trip to Swansea looming at the weekend.
The Gunners can join their opponents in having a defence which could be better. The reigning FA Cup champions have claimed just two clean sheets on the road this season, at Watford and Newcastle.
Wednesday will rightly be confident of a goal, not only for Arsenal’s defensive lapses, but because Carlos Carvalhal’s Owls have scored in each of their last 15 home games in all competitions.
As such, Ladbrokes are generously boosting Arsenal to win and both teams to score from 7/4 to 9/4.
Wenger’s men should have enough to make it seven wins from eight games at Hillsborough tonight, but don’t expect the Owls to go down without a fight.
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