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Friday, January 30, 2009

NFL great tips Arizona for upset

Former NFL star Rod Woodson believes the Arizona Cardinals will "shock the world" by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in Super Bowl XLIII.

Ex-Steelers defender Woodson was one of the few to predict last year's win for underdogs the New York Giants.

"My heart says Pittsburgh but I really feel the Arizona Cardinals are going to win the football game," he said.

"Nobody believes they will win the game but I really think they're a good enough team to do that."

With quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to the fore, and a ferocious defence, Pittsburgh are favoured to win by around seven points by bookmakers.

That would see them clinch an unprecedented sixth Super Bowl trophy in Tampa, Florida.

Arizona have not won an NFL title since 1947, when they were based in Chicago, and until this year had not even been to the play-offs since 1998.

They won just nine of their 16 regular-season games but have sprung upsets over Atlanta, Carolina and Philadelphia in the play-offs to get to the big game for the first time.

Former defensive star Woodson played for the Steelers for 10 years, including an appearance at Super Bowl XXX, when they lost to Dallas.

But he believes Arizona are ideally suited to beat Pittsburgh because of their offence, led by veteran quarterback Kurt Warner, a winner with the St Louis Rams nine years ago.

"I just think this is a great match-up for Arizona," added Woodson, who finally won an NFL title in 2001 with Baltimore, and will be a BBC studio analyst for the second year running.

"This is their year to win the Super Bowl and shock the world because nobody thought they would be here."

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