Arsenal Vs Leeds is a mouthwatering FA Cup tie between two old rivals that once put on fierce contests which required policing by a fearless referee. Back as far as I can remember, Don Revie’s Leeds used to roll over teams with their sheer physicality and by way of intense intimidation.
Leeds went into a decline that has sadly befallen many a domestic giant such as Nottingham Forest, who were also once imperious at home and abroad.
Leeds have had a few false dawns regarding a return to the top flight, but Marcelo Bielsa is nearing the goal which narrowly escaped his side last term.
Leeds are a much prettier side than the one that up ended players for fun on their way to numerous first division titles. They have a tough but refined pedigree which has covered over much of their past misdemeanours but I’d stop short of saying the era when they dominated was embarrassing. Each team had its own supply of ruffians and unapologetic brawn back then.
Today’s Leeds are super organised, good on the attack and proficient in defence. They are durable and committed and could prove more than a match for an Arsenal side that is just finding its feet and identity under its new head coach.
Arteta’s objective is the Premier League and solving the riddles of consistency and waste left behind by Unai Emery.
The FA Cup is another chance to see his side play with style and intensity. Another chance to assess the system and the players he has at his disposal, but at the same time the Arsenal Vs Leeds game is something of a hindrance.
Having said that Arteta, who experienced FA Cup success as Arsenal captain will want to win the tie and compete for the much devalued trophy.
There will be lineup changes for the Arsenal Vs Leeds fixture, but I expect Lacazette to head the line with Nelson, Ceballos (if fit) and Martinelli behind him. Guendouzi is likely to get a run out partnering Willock and don’t rule out a Holding/Mavropanos partnership in the centre of defence.
My Preferred Side For The Arsenal Vs Leeds Game:
Martinez; Bellerin, Holding, Mavropanos, Saka; Guendouzi, Willock; Nelson, Ceballos, Martinelli; Lacazette.
Probable Side For The Arsenal Vs Leeds Game:
Martinez; Maitland Niles, Holding, Luiz, Saka; Guendouzi, Willock; Pepe, Ceballos, Martinelli; Lacazette/Aubameyang.
Predicted Score: 3-1 Arsenal