Leeds Preview: Team News, Injury Updates and Predicted Lineups
Leeds visit the Emirates tonight to take on an Arsenal side building confidence from their win over Manchester United as well as the new tactical adjustments which took shape with each passing game.
The FA Cup, as you would expect, had some surprising results on one end, some routine results on the other and some potential upsets. Starting with the good ol’ upsets, Fulham defeated Aston Villa at Craven Cottage while Crystal Palace lost at home to Derby County.
A couple of potential upsets were avoided with the teams earning themselves replays – Lucas Moura helped salvage a draw for Tottenham Hotspurs against Middlesbrough, Rochdale drew with Newcastle, while Watford drew 3-3 with Tranmere Rovers.
Arsenal are perennial challengers for the FA Cup and currently have the best record in the competition (13 trophies) but they were knocked out in two of their last three FA Cup ties, having lost just one from the last 22 before that. The loss to Nottingham Forest in the third round was a shocker, but losing to Manchester United, especially with conceding to Alexis Sanchez, was a bitter pill to swallow.
They have to be wary about a Leeds United side that currently dominate the Sky Bet Championship this season and are currently at the top of the table with 52 points. The visitors started the new year with a top of the table clash with West Brom that ended with both sides sharing the spoils. WBA’s Nigerian defender, Semi Ajayi, had a great influence in that game, scoring on both sides of the pitch.
Arsenal has met Leeds 17 times in the FA Cup and the fans will always remember our last meeting with the club in 2012, when our legendary top goal scorer, Thierry Henry, scored the only goal in a slender victory at the Emirates. Having Henry return to the club was surreal enough, but watching him score for the club after so many years was glorious to say the least.
Eddie Nketiah will have some strong interest in this game, bearing in mind that he is a Gunner but featured for the visitors this season, scoring five goals. I touched on what the future holds for him.
Arsenal Team News
Arsenal go into this game with great motivation from their win against their Premier League rivals, Manchester United, but Mikel Arteta will also be mindful of the fact that most of those players featured three times in just six days so most of the squad members deserve breathers.
I will expect Emiliano Martinez to resume his role as the Cup keeper ahead of Bernd Leno, while Rob Holding, that’s just returning from a lengthy injury layoff should start alongside Skhodran Mustafi in central defense.
I know the German is not in anyone’s good books following his torrid outing against Chelsea but the Gunners are short of numbers at the back so we will have to make do. Bukayo Saka and Ainsley Maitland-Niles will have to continue in their full back positions. I expect to see a shakeup in midfield with Matteo Guendouzi, Dani Ceballos and Joe Willock in central midfield pulling the strings.
Mikel Arteta backed up Alexandre Lacazette for his effort and defensive works up top, but the French forward needs to score goals, so this game offers him that platform to find the back of the net. Reiss Nelson will be odds on to start ahead of Nicolas Pepe while Gabriel Martinelli will shake off his hamstring strain to flank Lacazette on the left hand side.
Arsenal Predicted Lineup
Leeds Team News
Leeds United are in good form in the Sky Bet Championship and the fact that they are in pole position with 52 points after 26 games is a testament of their quality and consistency.
Since losing to Millwall in early October, Leeds United has lost just one game (away to Fulham) in their last 16. Leeds picked up 10 victories and five draws, which included that promotion six-pointer against West Brom at the Hawthorns.
Leeds United rely on their top striker, Patrick Bamford, and his 10 goals in the league propelled them to the top of the division. Jack Harrison (5), Ezgjan Alioski (4), Helder Costa (3) and Pablo Hernandez (3) are influential in their campaign thus far. Unfortunately, they will be without Hernandez is out for a month with a hamstring injury.
Leeds Predicted Lineup
Arsenal: Gabriel Martinelli (hamstring), Kieran Tierney (shoulder), Hector Bellerin (hamstring), Calum Chambers (knee)
Leeds United: Tyler Roberts (hamstring), Adam Forshaw (hip), Pablo Hernandez (hamstring)
Team Form Guide
- Last Five Games: L D D L W
- Last Result: Arsenal 2-0 Manchester United
- Leading Goalscorer: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (15)
Leeds United Form
- Last Five Games: D L D W D
- Last Result: West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Leeds United
- Leading Goalscorer: Patrick Bamford (10)
Gooner Daily predicts a 2 – 0 Arsenal win.
Kick Off – 7.56pm at the Emirates Stadium
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