Arsenal vs Birmingham
February 27, 2011
Wembley Stadium, London
Carling Cup Final 2011
Arsenal will be favourites to break their six year trophy drought when they clash against Birmingham City in the Carling Cup final at Wembley. Bet on Arsenal vs Birmingham after reading our preview at Sportsbookie.com.
The Gunners have not won silverware since 2005 and will be without several key players in the form of Theo Walcott, Thomas Vermaelen, Lukasz Fabianski and Cesc Fabregas.Both Fabregas and Walcott picked up the injury in Arsenal’s 1-0 midweek win over Stoke City. In the Spaniard’s absence, Robin van Persie will wear the captain’s armband.
Birmingham have stunned one and all by reaching this stage of the tournament. They seemed dead and buried against West Ham in the semifinals but the introduction of the lanky Nikola Zigic produced a stunning turn around for Blues.
Zigic will again be a key factor in Alex McLeish’s plans. Birmingham’s greatest threat will come from set pieces- six of the eight Premier League goals the Midlands outfit have scored against Arsenal have all come from set pieces.
Arsenal have played in six previous League Cup finals and won two of them. Birmingham have finished on the losing side on both occasions they contested.
Bentley, Davies and Doyle are cup tied for Birmingham while Scott Dann, James McFadden and Valles are injured.
Arsenal form- last five games- most recent first-
Arsenal 1-0 Stoke ( Squillaci)
Leyton Orient 1-1 Arsenal ( Rosicky)
Arsenal 2-1 Barcelona ( Van Persie, Arshavin)
Arsenal 2-0 Wolves ( Van Persie*2)
Newcastle 4-4 Arsenal ( Djorou, Walcott, R.Van Persie*2)
Birmingham form- last five games- most recent first
B’Ham 3-0 Sheff ( Beausejour, Martins, Murphy)
B’Ham 0-2 Newcastle
B’Ham 1-0 Stoke ( Nikola Zigic)
W’Ham 0-1 B’Ham ( Nikola Zigic)
B’Ham 2-2 Man City ( Zigic, Gardner)
Verdict:- Arsenal to edge this one.
Arsenal 2-0 Birmingham ( Arshavin, Wilshere)