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Blackpool vs Arsenal: Seasiders can cause another scare

Blackpool vs Arsenal Match Preview and Predictions

Blackpool have already given Arsenal a cup scare this season and will hope to do so again when they meet in the FA Cup at Bloomfield Road.

[All odds correct at time of publication]

The Gunners made hard work of dispatching the League One side in the EFL Cup at the end of October but held on for a 2-1 win as both sides finished with 10 men at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal were knocked out at the third-round stage last season as they suffered a 4-2 defeat at Nottingham Forest.

Match information

When is it? Saturday 5th January

What time is kick-off? 17:30

Where is it being played? Bloomfield Road

Which channel is it on? BT Sport 2

Who is the referee? Mike Dean

Blackpool vs Arsenal Betting Tips

Here are our predictions for Saturday's game for which we also have a range of other markets available:

The lowdown

Arsenal manager Unai Emery will be well aware of the threat posed by the minnows after their previous clash this season.

Emery made nine changes to his team for October's meeting but the Gunners appeared to be coasting after Stephan Lichtsteiner's first goal for the club was added to by Emile Smith Rowe.

Blackpool rallied, though, and, after Arsenal had Matteo Guendouzi sent off for two fouls on Jordan Thompson, Paudie O'Connor reduced the arrears before also being dismissed.

This weekend's best bets

If you're interested in accumulators or in-play betting, check out our regular betting columns:

Arsenal's team featured the likes of Petr Cech, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck, and the result at the Emirates will have given Blackpool hope they can cause an upset despite being the 11/1 underdogs in the FA Cup odds.

Arsenal are without a clean sheet in their last six matches and also conceded against Brentford in the EFL Cup.

With changes likely to be made to the team too, plus several defensive injuries to contend with, the first of our Blackpool vs Arsenal betting tips is both teams to score at evens.

First goalscorer tips

Smith Rowe has only made five first-team starts for Arsenal - all in cup competitions - but has scored three goals, including against Blackpool in the EFL Cup.

He also netted for Arsenal's Under-21s in his only appearance in the EFL Trophy against Coventry so he looks worth backing in the first goalscorer odds at 6/1.

Feature match previews for this weekend

If you're interested in tips on our feature matches for the weekend, check out our in-depth previews below:

Anytime goalscorer tips

Blackpool striker Armand Gnanduillet is proving a real handful for League One defenders this season and will be the biggest threat to Arsenal's backline.

He made a slow start to the campaign with one goal in his first 11 appearances but he now has nine goals to his name and is 3/1 to reach double figures against Arsenal.

Where the game will be won or lost

Blackpool manager Terry McPhillips felt his side deserved better than their 2-1 defeat in October and was aggrieved at O'Connor's red card just as they were threatening to force an equaliser.

Speaking after the match, he said: "We were in the ascendancy, had them on the back foot - credit to all the players.

"They had 10 men and we had to push forward and nearly pinched it off them...we threatened them more than they threatened us. It was harsh on us to be 2-0 down, the keeper didn't have any saves to make."

Given the attacking quality at Emery's disposal, though, it would be a major surprise if Arsenal do not progress at the first time of asking and an away win and both teams to score is added to our Blackpool vs Arsenal predictions at 37/20.

Emery had a good track record in cup competitions during his time at both Sevilla and PSG, and will be keen to make amends for the EFL Cup loss to rivals Tottenham.

We think Blackpool could give the Gunners another scare, though, while Arsenal's poor first-half record this season is well known, so the last of our FA Cup predictions is Arsenal to win from behind at 7/1.

Traders' Tips - View from the trading floor

Blackpool have been struggling for goals recently, scoring just once in their last four matches, and Arsenal look good value to ease to a comfortable 3-0 win at 7/1.

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Andrew McDermott
@a_mcdermott in Football