Arsenal will be travelling to Borough Sports Ground, in order to play against fifth league side, Sutton United.
There isn’t much to say about this fixture, to be completely honest. Sutton United come off a huge upset against Leeds United, a game in which Sutton beat the former English champions 1-0. The man question here is this — can the hosts recreate magic? The normal spectator will immediately disagree to any who say that yes, Sutton are capable of upsetting against one of the biggest clubs in English football. And that said spectator is right, it is very unlikely that Sutton will make any sort of upset against the London giants.
For Sutton, this game will either go down or history, or will be another expected result. The hosts will either have a match that will forever be enshrined in the club’s history, or they will exit the FA Cup after a match against a 3-time Premier League champion. For Arsenal, this game is an opportunity for fans and club alike to field out younger players, who don’t get as many minutes as they usually do. Rob Holding is one of those names (despite having some Premier League minutes under his belt), as well as some of the younger players in the squad — Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and perhaps even Christopher Willock. Emiliano Martinez is also set to start in goal for the Gunners, seeing that the likes of Petr Cech or even David Ospina will probably have little to no action in goal. Wenger will still probably field some first team players — Kieran Gibbs can get a start, Carl Jenkinson can be deployed at the right-back role and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can start again as a central midfielder – a position which he’s been able to fill superbly over his past few starts.
All-in-all, the odds for an upset here are very unlikely. But then again, the Arsenal squad can look very different to what it looks like on a weekly basis in the highest tier of English football. Nonetheless, Sutton fans can look forward to a (hopefully) entertaining 90 minutes of FA Cup action.
It’s that time. Tonight (15th of February, 2017), Arsenal will go up against one of its most bitter rivals in the Champions League — the Bavarian titans, Bayern Munich.
All Arsenal fans are on edge, and for good reason. Arsenal are coming into this fixture a few days later after a surprisingly though win against Hull City at the Emirates. Had it not been for a clear handball goal from Alexis Sanchez and a calmly slotted away penalty from the #7 as well, Arsenal fans would have been disappointed once again. Bayern Munich, on the other hand, are coming off a streak of great results, bar a 1-1 draw against Schalke 04 at the Allianz Arena.
But, there is room for optimism in the eyes of Gunners fans. Carlo Ancelotti, Bayern Munich’s head manager, has confirmed that German international defender, Jerome Boateng will not be available for the match against Arsenal, which does hurt the Bavarians, but with the backup of Javi Martinez and Mats Hummels, there is little room for concern. Xabi Alonso has also been confirmed as to be fit to participate in tonight’s game, giving Ancelotti some choices as to who is to start at midfield for the Germans. In a recent press conference, Arsene Wenger has confirmed that veteran goalkeeper, Petr Cech, will be dropped in favor of Champions League regular, David Ospina for tonight’s match. In addition to that, Lucas Perez has also been ruled out for the fixture, forcing Arsene Wenger to perhaps start Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the wing position, which is a shame due to his superb performances at the middle of the park as of late. Granit Xhaka is also available for selection for the French manager, but Wenger might be reluctant to start the Swiss midfielder due to his consistent disciplinary issues.
All-in-all, there isn’t much to look forward to for Arsenal fans. Fixtures against Bayern Munich have always proved to be a tough time (despite a very solid 2-0 victory for Arsenal, characteristically followed by a 5-1 bashing by Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena), and this fixture looks to be no different. The fact that Jerome Boateng is out will definitely be in favor of the Gunners, but even without the World Cup winner, Bayern Munich still look like the more solid team.