Blackpool are having a middling season in League 1, currently sitting in 10th 10 points off the playoffs and eight points off relegation. Chances are there next season will be in League one, but a cup run could give this season some extra excitement. It’ll be difficult for them to keep their run going as they face Premier League side Arsenal in the third round. If they are able to come away with a win, it would be a huge moment in their season.
Arsenal’s Premier League campaign has been starting to fall apart over the past couple of weeks. A draw away to Brighton and a crushing 5-1 defeat to Liverpool has dropped three points off the top four. With the race for Champions League football looking like it will be very tight, they may not want the extra fixtures that the FA Cup would give them. That said, they are unlikely to go down without a fight against their League One opponent.
Blackpool should have their whole team fit for this clash with Arsenal, but Jordan Thompson will be missing through suspension.
Arsenal will be without quite a few players for this cup tie. Mesut Ozil, Nacho Monreal, Hector Bellerin and Shkodran Mustafi are all doubts for the match, while Danny Welbeck, Rob Holding, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Konstantinos Mavropanos will all miss out with injuries, according to Physioroom.com.
Blackpool: Nathan Delfouneso
Delfouneso is joint top in both goals and assists for Blackpool in the league. They’ll him to grab at least one goal for them to beat Arsenal. The Gunners defense is their main weakness. They’ll likely be able to score at least one goal against Blackpool, so the League One side will need to score a couple if they are to advance to round four and they’ll likely need Delfouneso to chip in for that to happen.
Arsenal: Alexandre Lacazette
Lacazette has lost his role as Arsenal’s number one striker to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. This means that he will likely play in the FA Cup tie. He will look to take advantage of the lesser opposition to get a few goals to get himself back into form. While he may be Arsenal’s number two, he is a very talented striker that will be desperate to reassert himself. That could be a death sentence for Blackpool.
While they will likely play a weakened team and are away from home, Arsenal will likely win this game. The gap in quality will just be too much.