FA Cup: Arsenal vs. Liverpool Match Predictions, Fantasy Football Tips, Team News and Line-ups
FA Cup – Arsenal vs. Liverpool: Arsenal and Liverpool will instead compete for a spot in the FA Cup round third at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon, putting the Premier League championship chase on hold for a little while.
After the Gunners ended 2023 with a well-earned 2-1 setback on the road against Fulham, the dominant Reds increased their advantage at the top of the table with a 4-2 victory against Newcastle United the next day.
A confident Mikel Arteta would boldly declare that Arsenal was better in both categories after the Gunners’ humiliating home loss to West Ham United on December 28, but the Spaniard was aware that his team was not the best three days later at Craven Cottage.
After just five minutes, Bukayo Saka’s improvised finish proved to be only a minor setback for Marco Silva’s team, who poured forward and were rewarded with goals from Bobby Decordova-Reid and Raul Jimenez, the latter of whom smashed home a corner as Arsenal’s set-piece shortcomings were once again exposed.
Arsenal wasted the opportunity to top the table for a second straight year due to a lacklustre offensive display. As a result, the Gunners finished the festive season with just one victory in their previous six games, dropping them to an ugly fourth place.
The FA Cup, which Arteta’s on-field troops have won a record 14 times, is where the hierarchy is currently scoping out potential additions to the squad during the notoriously difficult January transfer window. A new left-back is reportedly priority number one due to a lack of affordable midfielders and strikers.
The loss to West Ham was the first time in 13 Emirates games that Arteta’s off-colour charges had failed to make the net bulge at home. Arsenal hasn’t advanced past the fourth round since hoisting the trophy aloft in front of an empty Wembley in 2020. Ultimately, Arsenal lost to Manchester City in the 2022–2023 campaign.
Similarly, Liverpool was left to lament their own wastefulness in front of the home crowd on New Year’s Day, when a struggling Newcastle United managed to keep their clean sheet at halftime, largely due to a Martin Dubravka penalty save from Mohamed Salah.
Even though Alisson Becker’s net was breached in front of the Kop by Alexander Isak and Sven Botman, Liverpool ultimately threw off their best players and scored four goals themselves, thanks to goals from Salah, Curtis Jones, and Cody Gakpo.
On January 1, at Anfield, Premier League history was written. Liverpool scored an incredible 7.27 anticipated goals (xG), the highest of any English top-flight side ever, and as a result, they now lead Aston Villa by three points at the top of the Premier League rankings.
Although their 2021–22 title defence ended with an early fourth-round exit to Brighton & Hove Albion last season, Liverpool is now back on the road, where they have scored in 18 straight games since April’s 0-0 stalemate at Chelsea. They are on a mission to add FA Cup number nine to the cabinet.
In addition, Liverpool has lost its last three FA Cup matches against Arsenal, who defeated the Reds 2-1 at the Emirates on their way to winning the 2013–14 title. The Gunners’ winning run over the Reds was extended to three games with December’s wild 1–1 draw at Anfield.
Arsenal form (all competitions):
L D W D L L
Liverpool form (all competitions):
L D W D W W
Takehiro Tomiyasu of Arsenal is currently serving with Japan in the Asian Cup after just recently recovering from a calf injury sustained during a second-half substitution at Craven Cottage. Meanwhile, Mohamed Elneny, an Egyptian midfielder, will be absent for several weeks due to the Africa Cup of Nations.
Nonetheless, Ghana has chosen not to take a chance with Thomas Partey, who has not yet recovered fully from a thigh operation. Additionally, Fabio Vieira (groin) and Jurrien Timber (ACL) will undoubtedly miss the third-round match.
The supporters are also eager to learn more about Oleksandr Zinchenko’s health. The Ukrainian was unable to play in the match against Fulham due to a calf issue, which put Arteta in danger of having no available left-back for Liverpool’s visit. Fortunately, this time around, selection concerns won’t be as severe.
In fact, Liverpool will have to make due without the unstoppable Salah for Egypt’s AFCON campaign, while Wataru Endo, a midfield enforcer who is starting to show promise in the Premier League, will be joining Tomiyasu in the Japan lineup.
The injuries to Joel Matip (ACL), Stefan Bajcetic (calf), Andrew Robertson (shoulder), Thiago Alcantara (hip), and Kostas Tsimikas (collarbone) will also prevent them from playing this weekend at the Emirates. Dominik Szoboszlai, who hobbled out of the Newcastle victory due to hamstring strain, has also dealt a fresh blow to manager Jurgen Klopp.
Diogo Jota, Cody Gakpo, and Ryan Gravenberch appear to be set to profit from some rotation over the coming days, as Liverpool will quickly return to action against Fulham in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final on Wednesday, while their hosts have a 13-day break to rest following Sunday’s match.
Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior; Odegaard, Rice, Havertz; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli
Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Jones, Mac Allister, Gravenberch; Jota, Gakpo, Diaz
Our Prediction for this match 0-0 draw or 2-1 won by Arsenal