Arsenal vs Reading FA Cup Betting Preview

  • Updated: April 16, 2015
  • arsenal vs reading

    By Ian S Palmer

    FA Cup holders Arsenal of the English Premier League will be taking on Championship League club Reading in a semifinal cup showdown this Saturday, April 18 at Wembley Stadium in London. The Gunners currently sit in second place in the league table while Reading is in 18th position in England’s second-tier division. Arsenal enters the game on a hot streak with eight straight wins while Reading hasn’t won a game since beating Bradford City in their FA Cup quarterfinal meeting a few weeks ago. They have three draws and a pair of losses in their past five outings.

    Arsenal vs Reading FA Cup Betting Preview – Oddsmakers list Arsenal as the favourites to win the game at 1/4 with Reading 11/1 and a 90-minute draw at 5/1

    The Gunners have won the FA Cup 11 times in their history with last year’s triumph ending a nine-year drought. However, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger knows his side can’t afford to take Reading lightly though since they have several players with Premier League experience. Wenger recently spoke with the media and said, “Reading are very efficient and I believe they can be danger. Once you’re at Wembley it would be absolutely non-intelligent to just turn up and think we will win the game. We know exactly what can happen and I think the team will have the focus needed.”


    Steve Clarke, Reading’s manager was an assistant coach with Chelsea when they won the FA Cup back in the 2006/07 campaign and knows what it takes to lift the trophy. Arsenal represents the first Premier League side Clarke’s players have come up against in this year’s cup run and they’ll definitely be going into the match as the underdog. Other than Bradford City of the third-tier League One, Readings’ other opponents in the FA Cup have all come from the Championship League.

    Wenger will have to play this game without the services of several injured players. These include English international midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere as well as Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta and French international defender Mathieu Debuchy. Reading will be without English defender Anton Ferdinand with a calf injury, but it looks like Nathaniel Chalaboah and Pavel Pogrebnyak should be healthy enough to play. Nathan Ake will sit because he’s cup-tied.

    Clarke took over at Reading back in December when former manager Nigel Adkins was fired, but the club has dropped two places in the standings since then. A win over Arsenal would relieve some of the pressure on him, but they’d then have to beat either Liverpool or Aston Villa in the Final. Liverpool take on Villa at Wembley in the other semifinal clash 24 hours after the Arsenal vs Reading showdown. Reading is eight points above the relegation zone with four league matches remaining, so they’re not mathematically safe yet.

    Reading has never appeared in an FA Cup Final and the last time they reached the semifinal stage was back in 1927 when they dropped a 3-0 decision to Cardiff City, who then went on to beat Arsenal in the final. Arsenal and Reading have met nine times competitively in the past with Arsenal winning all of them. Their last encounter was a 7-5 thriller in a 2012 League Cup contest. The two teams have combined for 24 goals in their past three meetings with the Gunners holding a 16-8 edge. If this game ends in a draw it will go to 30 minutes of extra time. If there’s now winner it will be decided by a penalty shootout.

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