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January 30th, 2013 by Paul Wilson
Theo Walcott is making it really difficult for Arsène Wenger to deny him that strikers role he so much desires. The 23-year-old came off the bench at the weekend to spare The Gunners’ blushes of another Cup exit to a lower league side.
Since signing his new deal, which will keep him at the Emirates for a further three and a half years, Walcott’s started to payback that rumoured six-figure weekly wage with three goals in Arsenal’s last three games.
Walcott looks likely to start tonight and Stan James offer odds of 7/1 that he’ll score first at the Emirates.
Rumours were abound earlier in the week that we’d see the likes of David Beckham and David Villa strutting their stuff on the pitch wearing Arsenal colours but Arsène Wenger was quick to rubbish those claims and it looks like another January transfer window will shut with the North London club only willing to move players on than bring them in.
Unlike Arsenal, Liverpool are quite content to strengthen during the January transfer window knowing full well that for every Luis Suarez there’s an Andy Carroll situation just waiting to happen.
Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool side were sent crashing out of the FA Cup on Sunday to struggling League One outfit Oldham. Another example of the ‘two steps forward, one step back’ pattern so prevalent with Liverpool this season.
The arrival of Daniel Sturridge at the beginning of the month provides Rodgers with a stronger attacking option than just relying on Suarez up-front. His return of 3 goals in as many weeks is testament to Sturridge’s goal scoring abilities.
Daniel Sturridge is 15/2 with Boylesports to break the deadlock tonight.
Other transfer news surrounding The Reds is that they are very close to signing a couple of attacking midfielders in Philippe Coutinho (an £8.5 million capture from Inter) and Blackpool’s highly rated Tom Ince – both will greatly bolster Liverpool’s squad if the deals can be done in time before tomorrow nights transfer deadline.
Arsenal and Liverpool seem evenly matched heading into this fixture but Liverpool’s poor history of winning matches against the North London club is persuading enough to lean towards an Arsenal victory with Paddy Power offering best betting odds of 13/10 on this outcome.
With the pre-match emphasis on either teams willingness to get forward and create chances, it looks favourable that both teams will score and that’s currently priced at 8/13 from Ladbrokes.
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