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Pick of the Round: Arsenal vs Liverpool – FA Cup Preview

Cup Glory Beckons: Arsenal and Liverpool’s FA Cup Showdown

Historic Rivalries Renewed in FA Cup Third-Round Clash

Arsenal and Liverpool, two titans of English football, will momentarily shelve their Premier League aspirations to focus on the FA Cup’s third round. The Gunners, boasting an unparalleled 14 FA Cup victories, are hungry for more under Mikel Arteta’s tutelage. Their last triumph in 2020 marked a significant milestone in Arteta’s managerial career at the club.

Liverpool, on the other hand, are chasing their ninth FA Cup crown. Under Jurgen Klopp’s guidance, they’ve seen a remarkable turnaround, especially after a rather lacklustre showing last season. Klopp ended a 16-year drought for the Reds in the FA Cup in 2022, but the competition has often eluded his grasp.

Scheduling Challenges and Team Focus

With the Carabao Cup semi-finals looming, Liverpool might prioritize other silverware, seeing the FA Cup as a lesser objective. Nonetheless, the allure of the prestigious cup cannot be understated.

Fixture Details: An Epic Encounter at Emirates

Scheduled for a 4:30pm GMT kick-off on Sunday, January 7, 2024, this epic showdown will take place at the Emirates Stadium, a fortress in North London.

How to Catch the Action

Television coverage begins at 4pm on BBC One, providing fans with a front-row seat to the drama. Additionally, the match is accessible online via the BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport for a live streaming experience.

Squad Updates: Arsenal and Liverpool’s Line-Up Decisions

Arsenal faces some selection dilemmas, with key players like Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu possibly missing out. With the African Cup of Nations claiming Mohamed Elneny, and injuries to Thomas Partey and Fabio Vieira, Arteta’s lineup choices are crucial. The recent form dip of some players further complicates his decision-making.

Liverpool are navigating through their own challenges, missing Mohamed Salah and Wataru Endo, while Dominic Szoboszlai’s fitness remains uncertain. Young Owen Beck might see action after returning from his loan at Dundee.

Match Prediction: A Close Contest with Arsenal Edging Out

Despite Liverpool’s competitive spirit, even without Salah, Arsenal is expected to leverage their home advantage. This should be enough to secure their progression to the fourth round. But as the saying goes, neither team will want a replay!

Prediction: Arsenal to triumph 2-1.

Head-to-Head Record: A Storied Rivalry

Since Michael Owen’s heartbreak-inducing performance in the 2001 final, Arsenal has had the upper hand in FA Cup matches against Liverpool. The historical tally stands as follows:

  • Arsenal wins: 82
  • Liverpool wins: 94
  • Draws: 64
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