The FA Cup has reached the third-round stage and this is the point where clubs from the top two tiers become involved. There is more than one all-Premier League fixture, but this clash between Arsenal and Liverpool is the tie of the round (11.30am ET; 4.30pm GMT Sunday).
These teams are in the EPL title race, with Liverpool at the top of the table at the start of the New Year. The Gunners have lost two games in succession leading into this clash, but who will claim the win and progress to the next stage? Read on for our AFC vs LFC betting predictions and picks for this preview.
There is a tight moneyline market, with odds against figures on all three possible outcomes. Arsenal are the favorites to win in normal time and the Gunners can be backed at best industry odds of 23/20. Liverpool are next at 5/2, while the draw completes the match betting at a top price of 14/5. Remember that all odds for FA Cup soccer ties are for 90 minutes only, and exclude any extra times, penalty shoot outs, or replays.
Liverpool and Arsenal met at Anfield on December 23 and that league clash ended in a 1-1 draw. There was little between the sides but, since that result, the form in each camp has been significantly different. Overall, Liverpool have 14 points from their last six league games, and no other side has claimed more. Arsenal, in comparison, have seven points over their most recent six EPL matches.
A significant factor could involve the makeup of the two sides. Both teams will want to win, but they may also consider the Premier League to be a priority. We can expect to see some changes to the lineups, so who is in the frame to decide the outcome of this tie?
The first goalscorer market can’t second guess the two managers, and they will simply list the most prolific strikers in each side. We also need to remember that teams have lost players to AFCON and the ASIA Cup, so there are some significant absentees, including Liverpool’s Mo Salah.
This leaves Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah as the favorite to open the scoring at 6/1, followed by his teammate Gabriel Jesus at 13/2. Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka can both be found at 15/2, while Liverpool’s first representative is Darwin Nunez at a best of 17/2.
Cody Gakpo may well start for Liverpool in Salah’s absence. The Dutch international was on target in Liverpool’s 4-2 win over Newcastle on New Year’s Day and he is a tempting option with the stateside oddsmakers at a top price of 10/1. For Arsenal, skipper Martin Odegaard has made important scoring contributions since arriving in North London and he can be claimed at 9/1.
In other side bets, Both Teams to Score can be taken for this third round tie at 4/7 in many places. Those who feel that either, or both sides will fail to find the net in 90 minutes can get best odds of 11/8 for the ‘no’ option on BTTS.
Next is Total Combined Goals, and a stake Over the 2.5 line is quoted at 4/6. If we push that up to Over 3.5 goals, the numbers jump above evens to 13/8. If you think that there will be a quiet first 90 minutes at the Emirates on Sunday, Under 2.5 Goals is available at a general 6/5.
That just leaves us with some Correct Score suggestions. The bookmakers are favoring a narrow Arsenal victory, so you could claim a 2-1 home win at best odds of 8/1. The same outcome in favor of Liverpool can be backed at a top price of 12/1, while the 1-1 draw is listed at a best of 13/2.
Our Arsenal vs Liverpool Preview’s Predictions & Picks Verdict
Arsenal have the home advantage, but Liverpool’s form is much better coming into Sunday’s fixture. The absence of Mo Salah and the likely team changes in both camps could also even things up, so the sides look evenly matched ahead of kick-off.
Third round ties can also be defensive affairs, with both sides naturally wanting to progress, while not looking to leave themselves too exposed at the back. It is all pointing towards a draw in 90 minutes and that’s our first betting pick for this preview.
Player markets are difficult to call when there is a chance of first team regulars being rested, but one man who should start is Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard. He is the skipper, so he shoulders responsibility and he is a committed player who will not want to sit on the bench. He has a healthy return of seven goals in all competitions so far this season. So the betting predictions for this FA Cup soccer matchup are:
- The draw at best odds of +290 on the moneyline with Bovada.
- Martin Odegaard to score at any time in normal time at +310 with EveryGame. Next best is +300 (3/1) with Bovada.
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.