There’s a gulf between Manchester City and Arsenal in the league, but in the Carling Cup both sides should fancy their chances for a bit of silverware, that is if they get past this match. Which soccer picks hold the best value?

After the excitement of the weekend's Premier League, that saw both City and Arsenal record 1-1 draws in their respective matches; and the disappointment/elation of Champions League football last week (where Arsenal won their group and City gave themselves a mountain to climb) Arsenal host Manchester City in one of the other (lesser) competitions, the Carling Cup.

Manchester CityArsenal may have fared better then Manchester City in the Champions League, securing progression to the next round as group winners, while City know that not even victory in their last group game would guarantee progression to the next round.

In the league, City are still in pole position and Arsenal are in sixth position, 12 points off the pace. It should be a cracking match with the wealth of footballing talent available to both sides, although the Caring Cup is hardly top priority for either side.

Easy on the stats and history

It's interesting to note that in the last five head to head meetings between these sides, Arsenal have lost twice and there have been two draws. Adding up the goals for and against in those five matches City have seven while Arsenal have just five.

This is a perfect example of how too many stats can spoil the broth and muddy the waters, as while it looks like City have the best form against Arsenal it's more significant that City haven't scored against the Gunners for almost 2 years and that's three games without a goal for City. The last two times this clash was played at Arsenal the game ended 0-0 both times you can pick up that score at 12/1. While any draw is listed at 12/5 soccer odds.

New City new danger

Most of City's victories against Arsenal have come in Manchester but, (not that it really requires repeating) the Manchester City of 2011 are a very different beast, and won’t fear a trip to the capital. The bookies seem to think that this game will end in City's favour (City are 11/8 to win the match) and the shortest odds on the correct score are 8/1 on a 2-1 Blue victory.

I would strongly recommend that you don't bet on a goalless draw as Manchester City have only kept one clean sheet from their last six games and that was a 3-0 victory over Villarreal in the Champions League. City have let in one goal in five Of their last six games in the league. So bet on Arsenal having at least one goal while City do tend to score by twos and threes (and sixes).

If you think I'm wrong and you think City will shut out Arsenal completely back 3-0 that’s the score that they recorded the last time these two sides met in this competition back in December 2009 and is available at the soccer betting odds of 20/1.

Cups not running over

Robin Van PersieThe home League Cup tie on Tuesday is a chance for Arsenal to end their seven year trophy drought, but Wenger has hinted that he will play a half-half team, mixing youth and experience. Possibly a dangerous ploy against a City side who sometimes look all-conquering. City are 3/1 to win the Carling Cup while Arsenal are 7/1, that doesn’t necessarily translate into a City win, but if you fancy a soccer pick on either side winning this trophy back them now, as the odds will shift quickly after this game. 

There's another reason to back a City win, as Arsenal seem to be stretched a little thin this season and while they aren't serious contenders for the league (presently at 50/1 to win the EPL) they are facing a struggle to retain their top four status (at 7/4) and don't seem to have the legs to fight on more than two fronts.

So while the qualification to the last 16 of the Champions League is a done deal, the Premier League will probably take priority for the Gunners and the Wenger boys would probably be less than heartbroken to step down from the Carling Cup.

Have a cheeky bet on this match providing an own goal (at 10/1) as both teams scored against themselves at the weekend.

Prediction: City win 4-1 that's at 33/1.