Michael Owen states his prediction for Sheffield United v Arsenal
Michael Owen is backing Sheffield United to beat Arsenal on penalties in the FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday afternoon
Michael Owen is backing Sheffield United to beat Arsenal on penalties in their FA Cup quarter-final at Bramall Lane on Sunday afternoon.
The Gunners recorded their first Premier League win in three outings on Thursday evening to end a two-game losing run thanks to a 2-0 victory over Southampton.
Goals from Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock in either half helped the Gunners to claim all three points at St Mary’s.
Mikel Arteta’s side are in ninth place in the Premier League table and 11 points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea FC to leave the Gunners more than likely without Champions League football for a fourth successive season.
The Gunners lost 3-0 to Manchester City at The Etihad and suffered a 2-1 defeat by Brighton and Hove Albion before Arsenal recorded their first win since the return of the Premier League at St Mary’s.
Arsenal will face a side that are in even worse form than them given that Sheffield United have collected just one point from their last three games over the past week or so.
The Blades drew 0-0 with Aston Villa before Chris Wilder’s side lost 3-0 to Newcastle United and Manchester United to fall of the space in the race for a European spot.
However, former Liverpool FC striker Owen is still backing Sheffield United to beat Arsenal to reach the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday afternoon.
“In many ways, this could be a bigger game for Arsenal than for Sheffield United,” Owen wrote in his column for BetVictor.
“The Blades have had a terrific season so far and any further progress will be the icing on the cake, but with Arsenal hovering around mid-table, it’s been a poor season for them.
“They are a club used to challenging for silverware and with Arteta being an FA Cup winner himself, it would be a major boost for Arsenal if they could collect a trophy this early in the Arteta era.
“The last two meetings in the FA Cup between the sides ended in a draw after 90 mins, with the most recent being a fifth-round replay which Arsenal eventually won 4-2 on penalties.
“With both sides failing to replicate their form in the league since the restart, I think this could be heading for another draw and based on the current goalkeeper situation – with Henderson being in good form and Leno being out injured – I fancy the Blades to sneak through on penalties.”
Arsenal lost 1-0 to Sheffield United in the Premier League at Bramall Lane back in October before a 1-1 draw at The Emirates in January.
The Gunners have beaten Leeds United, Bournemouth and Portsmouth en route to the FA Cup quarter-finals ahead of Sunday’s clash.
Arsenal are in ninth position and a point behind Sheffield United in the race to secure a European spot.