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Lincoln look to pile the pressure on Wenger

| 11.03.2017

The perfect time to play Arsenal

There will be more evenly-matched fixtures in the FA Cup quarter-finals, played out over the course of this weekend, but none will get just as much attention as goings on at the Emirates where Premier League big-guns Arsenal welcome Non-League upstarts Lincoln.

Disputed in front of the BT Sport cameras from 5.30pm on Saturday evening, the eyes of football fans around the world will be watching, most in the hope of catching a glimpse of a famous upset. Click here to place your bets on all this weekend’s football.

If Lincoln can beat Arsenal, it’s now

Lincoln City, the fairytale of this year’s FA Cup, wouldn’t have been at all fazed when drawing Arsenal away in the FA Cup. A major task indeed, but the minnows of the competition have already created a reputation as a side no one wants to play. Currently top of the National League, they have ended the FA Cup dreams of Altrincham, Oldham, Ipswich, Brighton and, most impressively, Burnley.

The visitors couldn’t have hoped to play Arsenal at a better time either, with no lack of trouble at the London club. Long-serving manager Arsene Wenger appears to finally be on his way out of the door, telling the press recently that he will consider his position at the end of the season. That seems to be in response to the growing number of fans who want him gone, and the protests before, during and after The Gunners’ recent matches.

Arsenal have lost three of their last four Premier League starts, going down to Watford, Chelsea and Liverpool, conceding eight goals in the process. That miserable run has sucked them down to fifth, and out of the Champions League places. They were also hammered in the continent’s premier football competition when beaten 10-2 on aggregate by Bayern Munich in midweek, a 5-1 defeat in Germany and the same at home.

Lincoln City's Sean Raggett celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game

History being made in the FA Cup

The Imps are, of course, the first Non-League club to reach this stage of the competition for 103 years. But that will not be the only piece of history being made on Saturday, as this is the first time the quarter-finals won’t have a replay if the match ends in a draw.

This one will be played to a finish on Saturday, meaning extra-time and the drama of penalties is a real possibility. The underdogs may decide to defend with their lives, pack the box and look to challenge Arsenal to break them down. We’ve seen in the past that the locals’ pretty passing is largely ineffective against an opponent happy to sit deep.

That makes the draw an attractive option, and Coral will give you a chunky 14/1 on this one going to extra-time. Our traders have Lincoln at exactly the same price to qualify for the next round, regardless of how they achieve it.

Can Lincoln get anything on Saturday?

If you fancy Lincoln to make a game of it against a battered and bruised Arsenal, you don’t have to be so bold as to back them to win, here at Coral we give you plenty of ways to support the underdogs. They beat Burnley 1-0 in the last round, and another 1-0 away day in the correct score is a 90/1 poke. Both teams to score is 31/20, or Sean Raggett, who netted the winner against The Clarets, is 25/1 to get another here, the final score doesn’t matter with that bet.

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Daniel McKeown