Blackburn to beat Arsenal (pk), 1.87 Pinnacle
Carling Cup 1/4 final - one match only, pens if needed.
Not gonna write a long story here, odds are going down on BB since this morning as the markets are beginning to understand that Arsenal are fielding their second team with 11 changes compared to the 11 starters vs Chelsea while BB have said they're fielding the strongest team possible.
(squad from BBC website)
Friedel, Nelsen, Samba, Warnock, Tugay, Mokoena, Reid, Bentley, Dunn, Pedersen, Santa Cruz, McCarthy, Roberts, Brown, Savage, Berner, Derbyshire, Khizanishvili, Treacy.
- Emerton out following his red card vs Wigan in the weekend, Ooijer out with injury. Otherwise, seemingly a very motivated BB squad, playing for their season. BB lost two in a row in the PL (0-1 at home to West Ham followed by the 3-5 defeat away vs Wigan).
(text below/squad from their website)
- The manager has rung the changes with the squad containing just two players involved in Sunday's win over Chelsea. Philippe Senderos was an unused substitute and Nicklas Bendtner was a 90th minute replacement for Emmanuel Adebayor.
Please note that Theo Walcott pulled out of tonight's squad after waking up this morning and feeling unwell.
2 Abou DIABY (Age 21)
6 Philippe SENDEROS (Age 22)
8 Lassana DIARRA (Age 22)
9 EDUARDO (Age 24)
15 DENILSON (Age 19)
17 Alex SONG (Age 20)
21 Lukasz FABIANSKI (GK) (Age 22)
26 Nicklas BENDTNER (Age 19)
30 Armand TRAORE (Age 18)
31 Justin HOYTE (Age 22)
34 Kieran GIBBS (Age 18)
36 Mark RANDALL (Age 18)
40 Vito MANNONE (GK) (Age 19)
41 Gavin HOYTE (Age 17)
42 Fran MERIDA (Age 17)
43 Nacer BARAZITE (Age 17)
Oldest player in tonight's Arsenal team, 24 years old. BB is not a mug team at home (more of a "thug team"
...playing very physically. A lot of talents in the Arsenal team, yet this second team is not as good as last year's Carling Cup wonder imo as several of the prospects took the step up to the first team. We saw the limits of this B team as Wenger put them out in the CL away vs Seville where he gambled strangely with the first place of the group...and lost it. (GL vs Inter, Barca, Milan or Inter, playing the second match away...unless you get the lucky draw (Porto))
No Walcott in the Arsenal side as they had hoped (back from injury, no risk taken), the Arsenal B team will be quite strong up front with rising forward talents Eduardo/Bendtner but under strong pressure in the defense, where Roque Cruz (3 goals vs Wigan) and McCarthy should test a quite dodgy defense to the limit. BB admittedly not in great form but they did beat Newcastle 3-1 at home before losing to West Ham and I can see them being very much up for this, trying to show the Arsenal talents who their daddies are...
Surely, the Arsenal talents are playing w great motivation to win and to show Wenger they're ready for more first team action - still, small motivational edge for the home team here imo.
Nr 8 in the Premier League, at home, playing for their season, versus a not too impressive second team of the PL leaders - significant value in this one imo. ML odds on BB are tempting, still this is the Carling Cup and the battle should get open, physical and intense, BB pk the more cautious option.
Well, the story got long after all...GL