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Friday, 18 January, 2019

Peterson has galvanised Cardinals for division charge

Arizona starting to get their act together

Arizona running back Adrian Peterson
1 of 1

Live on Sky Sports Action, 6pm Sunday

A different type of oval ball heads to Twickenham in Sunday's first live TV NFL offering and NFC West rivals Arizona and the Los Angeles Rams should serve up a decent spectacle at the home of rugby union.

Most eyes will be on the Cardinals' veteran running back Adrian Peterson, who had a blistering first match for Arizona after joining from New Orleans.

It is his second London trip of the season - he hardly featured in the Saints' 20-0 Wembley win over Miami - but his 134 yards and two touchdowns against Tampa Bay last week should galvanise not only the former Minnesota rusher but his new team as a whole.

Arizona have been hit and miss for much of the season and have struggled to come to terms with the loss of star running back David Johnson, who was injured in the opening week.

Peterson helped them to a 31-0 lead against the Buccaneers and it is perhaps understandable that they allowed their concentration to slip in the closing stages as they eventually triumphed by a five-point margin.

They should be right back on the money in what is a key divisional clash, especially as the Rams have emerged as one of the league's surprise packages.

New head coach Sean McVay has got a tune out of last year's number one pick, quarterback Jared Goff, and they look a much stronger outfit when they headed to Twickenham last year for a 17-10 defeat to the New York Giants.

However, they do have a tough run-in and while they won 27-17 at Jacksonville last week, they have conceded plenty of points on their travels - 39 in their victory at San Francisco and 30 when they beat Dallas.

It looks like being a high-scoring encounter and while backing Arizona as three-point underdogs looks a decent investment, it is also worth backing Arizona veteran receiver Larry Fitzgerald to score a touchdown.

The 34-year-old has scored three times this season, remains a player for the big occasion and is still quarterback Carson Palmer's favourite target.

Arizona +3
2pts 10-11 general
L Fitzgerald to score a touchdown
1pt 11-8 BoyleSports, Hills

The lowdown
Venue Twickenham
Surface Grass
Weather Cloudy, 13C
Vegas handicap Arizona +3
Vegas points line 45.5 points

Touchdown scorers
L Fitzgerald 3, A Peterson 2, J Nelson 2, J Brown 2, K Williams 1, J Brown 1, T Niklas 1, J Bethel 1.
Los Angeles Rams
T Gurley 7, C Kupp 2, S Watkins 2, T Austin 1, M Brown 1, G Everett 1, P Cooper 1, T Johnson 1, J Johnson 1.

Team news
Cornerback Patrick Peterson has recovered from a thigh injury, but linebacker Karlos Dansby, defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche and offensive tackle Jared Veldheer are all questionable.
Los Angeles Rams
Cody Davis is doubtful with a thigh injury but fellow safety Lamarcus Joyner has recovered from a hamstring injury. Linebacker Mark Barron is questionable with a thumb problem.

Key stat
The Cardinals have covered the handicap in six of their last eight matches against the Rams

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Arizona have been hit and miss for much of the season and have struggled to come to terms with the loss of star running back David Johnson
E.W. Terms
Sky bet