Ecombd

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Arsenal vs Birmingham City Carling Cup Final 2011: Live Score & Preview

You can get the live score and text commentary of the Carling Cup Final 2011 at the following link:

Arsenal vs Birmingham City Live Updates

Arsenal and Birmingham City lock horns on Sunday (27 February) in the much-awaiting Carling Cup Final 2011 at the Wembley Stadium. While Arsenal is looking to end their trophy draught of six years, Birmingham is gearing for their first title in 48 years. So, both sides would not leave any stone unturned to put an end to their trophy-less era.

Match: Arsenal vs Birmingham City; Carling Cup Final 2011

Date: 27 February 2011 (Sunday)

Time: 16:00 GMT; 21:30 IST (Indian Standard Time)

Live on TV: Ten Action+

Arsenal’s last title success came in FA Cup 2005. The Gunners then reached the final of League Cup 2007, but they lost to Chelsea 2-1. On the other hand, Birmingham City last won a major trophy in 1963 when they defeated Aston Villa 3-1 in the League Cup final. The Blues then reached the 2001 final of the same competition, but lost to Liverpool on penalty shoot-outs.

Given the squad strength and recent performances, Arsenal is clearly way ahead of Birmingham. Gunners are now battling on four fronts and are four points behind leader Manchester United in Premier League. Wenger boys are expected to be full of confidence following their recent 2-1 victory over mighty Barcelona in the first leg of Champions League.

Moreover, Arsenal won both their fixtures against Birmingham in premier league this season. First, the Gunners defeated the Blues 2-1 at the Emirates, and then Wenger boys started the year with a 3-0 victory at St Andrew's.

There is a stark contrast between the performances of Arsenal and Birmingham City in Premier League so far this season. While the Gunners are pretty much alive in the title race, Birmingham is struggling at the 16th place with just 2 points above the relegation zone. Arsenal managed 56 points playing 27 games, while Birmingham could stake up only 30 points from 26 matches.

The two clubs stand at the different corners of the world when it comes to scoring. Arsenal’s 56 premier league goals so far this season is second only to Manchester United’s 61 goals and the Gunners maintained an average of more than 2 goals per match. In contrast to the scoring spree of the North London side, Birmingham is the lowest scoring side in the league with 25 goals to their credit.

Considering all the above-mentioned information, you may put your bet on the Gunners and that would be justifiable too. However, this is football and anything can happen on a particular day. Birmingham defeated the fellow premier league clubs like Aston Villa and West Ham United on their way through to the Carling Cup final. So, it seems Alex McLeish’s side would not be low on confidence.

Arsenal may have got the favorite’s tag, but the North London side has been badly hit by injury ahead of their first final in four years. Gunners would now have to stave off the Birmingham challenge without their captain Cesc Fabregas and in-form striker Theo Walcott. Both the players picked up injuries during their 1-0 recent premier league victory over Stoke City.

However, striker Robin van Persie and center back Laurent Koscielny would return after recovering from their minor injuries. In fact, Robin van Persie would captain the Londoners in the absence of regular captain Fabregas.

Tactics

Birmingham’s poor scoring record in premier league may indicate that the Blues do not pose considerable attacking threat for the Gunners. However, McLeish boys may think otherwise too and exploit Arsenal’s high back line.

Arsenal always plays attacking style of football and likes to play in opponent’s half. However, their attacking tendency very often leaves their high defense line exposed and teams playing two strikers up front always have good chance to get the best out of this lapse.

Especially the teams with midfielders who are capable of playing through balls for the strikers on counter attacks and have the ability to make brisk run from the midfield can cause maximum damage to the Wenger boys.

However, to implement this strategy on the pitch requires a high level of confidence and Birmingham may lag behind here.

Arsenal midfield is most likely to feature both Arshavin and Rosicky in the absence of Fabregas and Walcott. Nasri would play the creative role at the center of the midfield with Song and Wilshere playing behind him. Robin van Persie would play up front. Besides the full backs- Sagna and Clichy- Gunners would have Koscielny and Djourou at the heart of their defense.

Birmingham is most likely to player tall Serbian striker Zigic who can pose aerial threat for Arsenal center backs. Besides, their attack will also feature the quality players like Larsson, Gardner and Bowyer.

Live Score and Updates

You can get the live score of the match in the following websites:

http://www.livescore.com/soccer/england/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/default.stm

http://www.goalzz.com/main.aspx?c=5977&stage=8

Overall, both sides are desperate to win something and Carling Cup has come as a big opportunity for them. So, it is expected that football fans can experience some excellent piece of football on Sunday.

0 comments: