Portsmouth are in a fight to gain promotion to the Championship. They sit third in League One, two points out of the automatic promotion spots. But for now they’re shifting their focus to the FA Cup. Portsmouth are taking on Premier League side Arsenal. The two sides meet for the first time since Portsmouth’s relegation in 2010. The Gunners will certainly be favourites, but their poor recent form shows they can be beaten by anyone.
Arsenal’s season took a massive hit with their loss to Olympiacos on Thursday. Europa League was probably their best path back into the Champions League and now that’s gone. This season has been a disaster for the Gunners and it doesn’t look like it’s getting better anytime soon. An FA Cup win wouldn’t solve everything, but it could salvage a bit of the season.
Arsenal will be without Kieran Tierney, Sead Kolasinac, Calum Chambers and Cedric Soares, while Shkodran Mustafi and Pablo Mari will undergo late fitness tests, according to PremierInjuries.com.
Portsmouth: Ronan Curtis
Curtis leads Portsmouth in goals scored in League One and is tied for the lead in assists. Portmouth need all of their best players to perform to stand a chance, Curtis most of all. They will be hard pressed to win if he puts in a poor performance.
Arsenal: Eddie Nketiah
Nketiah has a real chance to establish himself in the Arsenal first team. With the futures of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up in the air and the former in poor form, there could be a hole up front for the Gunners. The 20-year-old has a real chance to get that spot if he can score and contribute to play consistently. He scored in his last start and will hope to continue that run.
Arsenal are in an awful place right now, but they are still two leagues above their opponents. It may be a slog, but the Gunners should win this.
Prediction: 3-1 Arsenal