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Arsenal vs Watford Sunday March 13 – FA Cup Quarterfinal Betting Preview

by Ian S. Palmer

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The second all-Premier League clash of the English FA Cup quarterfinals will kick off at the Emirates Stadium in London on Sunday, March 13 when Arsenal hosts Watford. Arsenal beat Championship League side Hull City 4-0 in a replay at the Emirates on Tuesday night after drawing their first encounter 0-0 in Hull. The London club is hoping to capture the FA Cup for the third consecutive season this year. The Gunners made it to the quarterfinals by beating Sunderland 3-1 at home and Burnley 2-1 at home before meeting Hull. Watford reached the final eight with 1-0 wins over Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest and Leeds United with the matches against Newcastle and Leeds being at home at Vicarage Road.

>Arsenal vs Watford – Pinnacle Sports Soccer BETTING LINE:

  • Pinnacle Sports currently lists Arsenal as the favorites at -170 with Watford +528 and a draw at +261

Arsenal vs Watford – Head to Head:

  • The two sides met in Premier League play at Vicarage Road in October with Arsenal leaving town with all three points following a 3-0 victory. It was the club’s first meeting since the Gunners beat Watford twice in the 2006/07 campaign. Arsenal won 3-0 at home that season as well as 2-1 on the road. Overall, the two squads have met 22 times in the past with Arsenal winning 12, losing nine and drawing the other. Arsenal has won four and lost one of five previous FA Cup encounters and has won six straight games over Watford. However, Watford won six of the previous seven matches including four in a row.

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Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott each scored twice Arsenal in their win over Hull on Tuesday, but manager Arsene Wenger will have to choose his starting 11 carefully since his side is still in the Premier League title race and has to face Barcelona in the European Champions League next week in Spain. The Gunners lost the first leg 2-0 at home to the Spanish and European champions. Arsenal currently sits in third place in the Premier League with 52 points from 15 wins, seven draws and seven losses. They’ve scored 46 goals and allowed 30 against. They sit eight points back of league-leading Leicester City and are just three ahead of fifth-place West Ham United.

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Newly-promoted Watford occupies 13th place in the standings with 10 victories, seven draws and 12 defeats for 37 points. They’ve scored 29 goals and conceded 30. The club should be able to stay alive in the top tier for at least one more season since it’s 13 points ahead of 18th-place Norwich City and the relegation zone. Watford has been struggling lately with a three game winless string where they’ve failed to score a goal in two losses and a draw.

Wenger has a busy fixture list ahead of him, but will be making a big mistake if he fields a weakened side against Watford. If he doesn’t field his best players there’s a good chance this contest could end in a draw and a replay will be needed, causing further congestion. As usual, the Gunners have several injuries to deal with including midfielders Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey and Tomas Rosicky. It also looks like Gabriel Paulista, Laurent Koscielny and top goalkeeper Petr Cech will be absent. Watford’s injuries include Miguel Angel Britos, Craig Cathcart, Jose Manuel Jurado and Joel Ekstrand.