Sutton United are aiming to rewrite the FA Cup history books when they play host to Premier League side Arsenal on Monday night.
Paul Doswell’s side are aiming to follow in the footsteps of Lincoln City by reaching the sixth round of the competition, with the winners drawn against the Imps in the next phase, but there is no doubting the enormity of the task facing the side from the National League.
Indeed, Paddy Power make the home side a 16/1 (17.0) chance to claim a famous victory in south London, while the same firm go 7/1 (8.0) that the tie goes to a replay; Arsenal, winners of this competition in both 2014 and 2015, are as short as 2/13 (1.15) to progress to the sixth round for a fifth successive season by winning inside 90 minutes on the artificial surface.
Paddy Power have got an enhanced new customer offer available for this fifth round fixture. Anyone yet to open an online account can take a huge quote of 6/1 (7.0) on the Gunners, who are expected to set up a quarter final clash with the other non-league outfit left in the competition.
Sutton defeated Coventry City, then of the top tier, in the third round back in 1989, but if they could claim the scalp of Arsene Wenger’s Gunners, it would surely rank as the greatest upset in the history of the competition.
Doswell’s side have been beaten in each of their last three fixtures and, in fact, Sutton have scored just a single goal in four matches since Jamie Collins’ second half penalty saw the National League side knock out Championship outfit Leeds United in the previous round.
Arsenal battled back from a goal down to defeat Preston North End in the third round, but Wenger’s men produced some scintillating football in the fourth round, enjoying a fantastic 5-0 victory against Southampton at St Mary’s.
The Gunners come into this clash on the back of a morale-sapping 5-1 defeat against Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena and while the significantly less salubrious surroundings of Gander Green Lane may be something of a culture shock for the north Londoners, the trip to south London will surely provide solace for Wenger’s charges.
Sutton have conceded 15 goals in their last three FA Cup ties against top flight opposition, while the north Londoners notched five on the last occasion that they lined up against a non-league side in the FA Cup – a 5-1 win against Farnborough Town back in 2003.
Arsenal are unlikely to be at full-strength, but given that the FA Cup now represents the Gunners’ best chance of securing silverware this season, the top flight team can be expected to claim a comfortable victory.
Sutton have scored just two goals in their last five games – both from the penalty spot – while Doswell’s side have failed to find the net in six of their last seven defeats in all competitions and, so, backing Arsenal to win to nil at 5/6 (1.83) offers outstanding value for punters ahead of Monday’s match.
|Arsenal to win to nil at 5/6 (1.83) for a 3pt stake with Paddy Power|