Sports Betting Weekly

Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal

When: Sunday, 25 January 2015 @ 22:00 (FINISHED)
Where: Falmer Stadium
What a difference a month has made for Arsenal fans. From seeing certain sections of their support boo Arsene Wenger at the train station following his side’s 3-2 defeat to Stoke to capping a run of five wins in six Premier League matches with a deserved victory away to Manchester City, it really has been a remarkable turnaround for the North London club.

Given their recent form, an away trip to Championship side Brighton that initially looked like a potential banana skin will hold little fear for the Gunners – and such sentiment has been backed by the bookies, who are pricing up the visitors as 3/5 favourites for the clash with the hosts at 5/1.

Having won just five games in the Championship so far this season, this is certainly not the free-scoring Brighton side that we’ve grown accustomed to over the past few years, and optimism over their chances of causing a major upset in this one should be tempered by the fact that the Seagulls have just 13 goals from their 13 games at home this season and have conceded 15 over those same ties.

Couple that with the facts that Arsenal have failed to score away from home just twice in English football this season and that the Gunners have won each of their last four meetings with Brighton and it looks like the visitors are fully deserving of their odds-on favourites tag for this one and may even be worth a flutter to win both halves at 10/3.

With the partnership between Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny now re-established in central defence, the visitors also recorded their third consecutive clean sheet in all competitions against Manchester City and are available at 15/8 to win to nil on the South Coast – a price that looks slightly long given Brighton’s aforementioned struggles in front of goal at Falmer Stadium this season.

Although it was midfielder Santi Cazorla who stole the show with a goal, an assist and a man of the match performance at the City of Manchester Stadium last weekend, it should be noted that the game’s other scorer, Olivier Giroud, has found the net five times in his last seven F.A. Cup appearances. Should Arsene Wenger again start his first choice striker, 10/3 looks a good price on the Frenchman scoring the first goal of the game, while Cazorla himself comes in at a healthy 6/1.

For those looking for a good reason to bet against the Gunners, it is worth mentioning that Brighton have lost just once in their past 12 F.A. Cup ties at home, but with that result coming in a 3-2 defeat to Wenger’s men in the 2012/2013 season, it is perhaps more advisable to back them at a handicap of +0.5 at odds of 23/17 if you are going to put your faith in Chris Hughton’s side causing a huge surprise.