Will Cardiff City fans be pleased with their start to the season? They followed up a 2-0 defeat at Bournemouth with back-to-back 0-0 draws; against Newcastle they probably should have lost and against Huddersfield they probably should have won.
They have been competitive in every game – as you’d expect from a Neil Warnock side – but their lack of a goalscorer is looking like a serious problem for the Bluebirds; if they don’t start scoring goals, they will be relegated.
Cardiff City are the only side in the Football League who are yet to score a goal – perhaps not the most surprising stat, but still a concern to Warnock.
Their draw against the ten men of Huddersfield will feel like two points dropped, and it’s becoming clear that Cardiff will not be whipping boys this season – they might just be the narrowly-losing-every-match-boys instead.
Arsenal registered their first win of the season against West Ham – the 3-1 scoreline was not as comfortable as it might suggest – and there are still a number of question marks about their team.
Mesut Ozil’s ‘illness’ and subsequent exclusion from the side will be of concern to Gunners fans; the lack of pace between the centre-backs and Pierre- Emerick Aubameyang’s lack of goals is also a problem. They will still fancy themselves against Cardiff, but their shocking away form last season will not be hastily forgotten, and Warnock will remind his side of this fact.
This is a golden chance for Arsenal to register their first clean sheet of the season, against a robust, yet toothless, Cardiff side. The Bluebirds will have to start scoring soon, because their six opponents after Arsenal are: Chelsea, Man City, Burnley, Spurs, Fulham and Liverpool. Scary stuff.
I’m backing an Arsenal win to nil. Cardiff will be tough to play at home, but their goalscoring woes are set to continue, with Arsenal likely to eventually squeeze through their defences.
I’m not expecting a glut of goals in many Cardiff matches this season, and Sunday should be no different. The Bluebirds’ consecutive clean sheets will certainly please Neil Warnock, and I expect him to keep things as tight as possible against Arsenal.
There’s the possibility of Emery naming a more attacking line-up than normal against Cardiff; the Gunners look a much more threatening side when Alexandre Lacazette comes off the bench to play centre-forward with Aubameyang wide.
Cardiff’s lack of pace will not frighten Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis – who have been exposed multiple times already this season – as their main weakness is pace, which Cardiff do not have.
I believe Arsenal will win, but not by any great margin. I’m backing under 1.5 goals in the first half, under 2.5 goals in the second half and either team to win as a nice, low-scoring option for this one.
If you’re in the mood for an outside shot, this tip might be for you: Aubameyang to score first and Arsenal to win 2-0.
The Gabonese has not looked at his best so far this season, and will feel he is due a goal. His missed chances against Chelsea shows he’s getting into those goalscoring positions – he just has to put them away now.
25/1 looks like a phenomenal price for this, and one to certainly keep your eye on.