Arsenal came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 for the first time in their Premier League history on Tuesday but it was further points lost to their rivals. Attentions now turn to the FA Cup, a competition they’ve won in two of the last three years.
Preston have only lost four of their last 19 matches in all competitions but too many of those results have been draws. In fact, they’ve drawn three of their last five at home and were recently thrashed 4-1 by Leeds.
Simon Grayson has history in giant killing at this stage of the FA Cup after knocking Manchester United out of the competition with Leeds in 2010. This would arguably be a greater achievement given Preston’s status compared to Leeds. Place your bet on Naijabet.com
This will be the first meeting between the teams since 1999, when goals from Nwankwo Kanu and Stefan Malz gave Arsenal a 2-1 win in the League Cup. Preston have a chance here, albeit a slim one.
Preston – Jermaine Beckford serves the third of a four-match ban here.John Welsh and Calum Woods are also both absent from selection because of injuries.
Simon Grayson made changes to the sides he put out in the League Cup so it remains to be seen how strong his line up will be on Saturday.
Arsenal – Arsenal have a huge injury list to contend with ahead of their FA Cup third round trip to Preston. Mesut Ozil, who has missed Arsenal’s last three matches has only just returned to training after missing most of the week with the flu and Arsene Wenger may choose to rest the German this weekend.
Not only that, but Francis Coquelin and Laurent Koscielny picked up injuries during their 3-3 draw with Bournemouth on Tuesday and neither are expected to feature on Saturday evening. Hector Bellerin also played in that game with a knock and that showed – he may be rested this weekend.
With Kieran Gibbs an injury doubt having missed their last three matches, Nacho Monreal may be required at left-back once again.
With Santi Cazorla and Mohamed Elneny both ruled out too, Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka may have to start in midfield unless Wenger turns to youth.
Danny Welbeck has been in full training for the last few weeks and is closing in on a long-anticipated return from injury, although any involvement is likely to come from the bench.
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 5 of Arsenal’s last 6 games in FA Cup.