Arsenal take on Birmingham in the Carling Cup final at Wembley this afternoon, with both sides desperate to cement a successful season by lifting a piece of silverware.
Arsenal have gone almost six years since Patrick Vieira lifted the FA Cup in May 2005 after beating Manchester United on penalties. Robin van Persie, who will captain the Gunners today, is the only player who will have featured in both Cup finals come 4pm. Back the Dutchman to score first at 15/4 or 1/1 anytime.
Underdogs Birmingham will certainly feel they have the chance to spring an upset, with skipper Cesc Fabregas unavailable alongside pacy winger Theo Walcott. Nonetheless, the Blues have selection troubles of their own as former Gooner David Bentley is cup-tied while Alexander Hleb is a doubt through injury.
However, Alex McLeish will be able to call upon imposing forwards Nikola Zigic (10/1 first goal) and Cameron Jerome (10/1 first goal) – both of whom will look to outmuscle and intimidate Arsenal’s defensive pairing of Johan Djourou and Laurent Koscielny.
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