Arsenal

Arsenal vs Leeds United

, KO: 19:56 Jan 6, 2020, Emirates Stadium
Leeds United

LEEDS are on track for a Premier League return so this mouthwatering FA Cup tie could be a taste of things to come next season.

Marcelo Bielsa's men lead the Championship from West Brom on goal difference but the top two look a cut above the rest in the second tier, with third-placed Brentford nine points adrift.

After watching their side sit in the top two for most of last season before being pipped to promotion by Norwich, Sheffield United and Aston Villa, fans at Elland Road will be wary of counting their chickens this term.

But if Leeds do go up then this intriguing cup clash with the Gunners could give us an indication of how well equipped Bielsa's side are to take on top-flight opposition.

When the draw was made, plenty of punters might have been thinking about backing Leeds to cause an upset at the Emirates against an Arsenal side in freefall.

But new boss Mikel Arteta seems to have steadied the ship and the superb 2-0 win over Manchester United on New Year's Day has offered hope of a brighter 2020.

How the bookies view it

Leeds have lost just once in their last 15 games, a 2-1 defeat at Fulham, while Arsenal have claimed just two victories over the same period.

But the bookies can't see a shock here, with the Gunners a best 4/6 at Coral and the Elland Road men 4/1 outsiders with most firms.

Don't rule out the draw, especially if Arteta rests a few star men, and it's a best 16/5 with William Hill.

However, the new Gunners boss insists he wants to go all the way in the FA Cup and I suspect he'll field a strong side as he looks to build on that first victory.

An Arsenal win with both teams to score could be the best shout at 23/10 with 888Sport, especially with Sead Kolasinac and Callum Chambers adding to a long list of casualties in the Gunners defence.

Recent head to head

With Leeds falling on hard times, the last three meetings between these sides have all come in the FA Cup.

Only a last-gasp Cesc Fabregas penalty saved Arsenal from defeat at the Emirates in 2011 as it cancelled out Robert Snodgrass' opener (below).

The Gunners won 3-1 at Elland in Road in the replay and edged a 1-0 win the following year back in London thanks to a goal from Thierry Henry.

Players to watch

Patrick Bamford came off the bench to replace Eddie Nketiah against West Brom and should start here after the on-loan Gunners star returned to his parent club.

Former Chelsea kid Bamford has 10 goals for the season and is 11/4 with Paddy Power for another goal at the Emirates.

Arsenal's big summer signing Nicolas Pepe is showing signs of finally sparking to life after a poor start to his career in England.

The winger scored against Manchester United and is 23/10 with Unibet for another here, which is good value as I expect Arteta to keep him in the side to boost his confidence.

Anything else catch the eye?

Leeds have been the great entertainers under Bielsa and goals have been flying in over the past few weeks.

They beat Birmingham 5-4 last weekend and that came just two weeks after a thrilling 3-3 draw with Cardiff.

I tipped a draw with both teams to score when Manchester United came to the Emirates only for the Gunners to keep a rare clean sheet.

It was just their second shut-out in 16 games and their last knockout tie was a 5-5 thriller against Liverpool in the League Cup.

Bielsa simply doesn't do parking the bus so it bodes well for a entertaining game. Over 2.5 match goals is a best 18/25 with Marathonbet but the odds increase to 9/5 with Unibet for over 3.5 strikes.

 

This match between Arsenal and Leeds United will be played on Jan 6, 2020 and kick off at 19:56

Arsenal vs Leeds United Betting Tips & Predictions
Arsenal win and both teams to score
23/10
888Sport
Nicolas Pepe anytime scorer
23/10
UniBet
Over 3.5 goals
9/5
UniBet

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