England’s oldest Cup returns tonight as Arsenal take on top 4 rivals Manchester United in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Both sides remain the most successful teams in the in the competition, with Arsenal edging their rivals by one extra title with 13 FA Cup trophies.
History. Tradition. Drama.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 25, 2019
There is no shortage of drama whenever this two take on in each other. The last time both teams squared up against in FA Cup, Danny Welbeck grabbed the winner, at Old Trafford in a 1-2 victory.
The Gunners eventually went on to win the FA Cup that same year. Thus, with this fixture taking place at The Emirates, it goes without saying that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s spirited Red Devils will be extra motivated for this one.
This sets the stage perfectly for another showdown tonight as both managers have said as much in their prematch conferences. Here are quotes from Unai Emery’s press conference for tonight’s FA Cup fixture;
On his thoughts on Ole’s Man United,
“Good afternoon. It’s a different team. It’s the same players but they’re playing with a big performance now. I was watching their last matches and and each player has a lot of confidence, with big performances, and now they are very dangerous. For us, it’s good because it’s a very big test for us in this competition.”
“Manchester United and us have played 20 finals in the FA Cup, and we’ve won 13 and they’ve won 12. For this competition, it’s the best match to play. We are looking forward to playing this match on Friday because it’s at our stadium, the Emirates, in front of our supporters. We feel very well in front of them and we want to create a new atmosphere over 90 minutes on Friday, together with our supporters.”
Arsenal vs. United in the FA Cup.
History. Passion. Memories. pic.twitter.com/ou3XJHgRRS
— B/R Football (@brfootball) January 25, 2019
On consistency in getting clean sheets like against Chelsea;
“Yes, it was very important. It’s our challenge in every match. But I think against West Ham we can work better defensively also and we conceded one goal but we still didn’t concede a lot of chances. The last two matches I think we have been better defensively. Against Manchester United against big and great players, we do the same work.”
“We can be defensively strong and I think we need every player to defend, not only the defensive players, the attacking players can help us too. Defensively in the last match against Chelsea every player worked hard offensively and defensively with good spirit. We pressed against them and I think we can do the same on Friday and our objective on Friday is to keep another clean sheet against Manchester United.”
Well, the Boss surely knows what he expects from the boys in tonight’s FA Cup fixture. However, his team selection in the absence of Bellerin is another story. It is likely he will be playing Ainsley Maitland-Niles in that position.
That said, here is the best possible Lineup to take down The Red Devils at the Emirates and hand Old Gunnar Solsjaer his first loss as United Boss.
Petr Cech GK, Ainsley Maitland-Niles RB, Sokratis Papasthadopolus RCB, Laurent Koscienly LCB, Nacho Monreal LB, Granit Xhaka CM, Lucas Torreira DM, Mesut Özil CAM, Aaron Ramsey CM, Alexandre Lacazette ST, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang CF.
Formation: 4-4-2 Diamond hybrid
Just as Aaron Ramsey was used to keep Jorginho too busy to be effective in the Chelsea game, it is most likely the same demand will be made of him on Paul Pogba, who seems to be an invigorated fella under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tutelage.
Another piece of good news for the Gunners is the absence of goalkeeper David De Gea from the starting line up for the FA Cup game. It is also likely that Alexis Sanchez will be returning to the Emirates for the first time since his departure and Coach Solskjaer is is confident booing Arsenal fans, will aid Sanchez to perform better in the game. One thing both managers can agree on is that this is a “perfect game” for both teams.
This is going to be a fiesty encounter, with loads of attack and counter attack moves and a trailer load of end to end action hence, I’d reckon home advantage may just play in The Gunners favour in this FA Cup tie, as they have been formidable all season at home, only losing to Manchester City on the first day of the season.
Date: Tonight, 25th of January 2019
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Stage: FA Cup Fourth Round
There is certainly going to be a showdown at the Emirates tonight and everyone is eager for it!
— Goal (@goal) January 25, 2019
“Are you aware that every time the Gunners have eliminated Manchester United in the FA Cup, they have gone on to win it? ” (2002-2003, 2004-2005, 2014-2015)