The Armchair Gooner

An Arsenal blog bringing you news, opinion and humour on a daily basis. Well, I'll try at the very least…

FA Cup: Liverpool (h) – Thoughts, Team News and Predicted Starting XI.

Bad, bad, bad day at the office.

Morning, folks.

As I might have mentioned a few times in the past, my gainful employment puts me in close proximity to 3 fevered Liverpool fans. The previous week hasn’t exactly been a barrel of laughs. Far from it, in fact; the taunts are interminable and predictably insipid. They’ve been relentless, and maddeningly so.

Arsenal should be out for revenge today; to put right one of the worst performances in recent history; to progress forward in a cup competition we stand a very good chance of winning and to make my working life immeasurably more bearable – being able to return some of the “bantz” would be extremely enjoyable at this point.

Shortness of time and the desire to have some breakfast before heading out means I intend to make this little preview relatively short. I touched on some of the team news yesterday, and not much has changed since then. Aaron Ramsey and Theo are still out along with Santi Cazorla, or at least it was alleged to be that way. There’s a little confusion surrounding his availability, but I’m not sure he’ll play. The Flame returns from suspension and I expect him to replace Mikel Arteta. Thomas Vermaelen remains injured amidst rumours of a summer exit and Abou Diaby has taken to hand-gliding across the Cotswolds and may not be seen for some time. He was last spotted swooping across the M5 headed towards a Wetherspoons.

With the Champions League fixture against Bayern looming on the horizon, I would say it’s a safe bet to expect a few changes today. That will probably mean we see starts for Jenkinson, Monreal, Podolski, Fabianksi and Bendtner. I’m not entirely sure I agree with fielding a ‘weakened’ team in a match that is of huge importance, but sometimes needs must. Arsene has always prioritised competitions, and, rightly or wrongly, England’s most prestigious cup competition has fallen down that list in recent years.

My guess at the line-up is:

Vs Liverpool?

My biggest hope today is that we use the humiliation of losing 5-1 at Anfield as a means of spurring ourselves on. That result was appalling, and we can only hope a mere blip as we progress forward. Liverpool showed us the benefit of starting strongly that day and we can ill-afford another sloppy and tedious approach to the first half.

Tactically, I expect Brendan Rodgers to fancy having a go today. In the league fixture at home he deployed his troops in a pedestrian manner hoping to stifle and counter. Confidence in his players’ attacking verve could mean he opts for a different approach this time. His team have proven themselves to be a very good side and we’ll have to cast our demons to one side and perform if we wish to beat them. I know the Arsenal team has more than enough ability to do that. The only question is whether that pesky monkey that often resides on their backs is here today. If he is, we might have problems.

I’m going to predict an open game and Arsenal to win 1-0. I’ll take any sort of victory. A draw would be of no use to anyone, and given their lack of European football, would suit Liverpool more than us.

That’s all for today, folks. The comments section awaits your thoughts below. How would you line-up the team? Do you agree with Arsene rotating the players? Let me know what you think. Tomorrow I’ll be back at the usual time with a match review.

As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

Category: Match previews
  • James Russell says:

    well it’s TIME, don’t stay up late to watch a film tonight little Arsenal fans just turn off the light and cry your self to sleep, yes here comes the pain, and presently it’s on a weekly basis ha ha ha like Freddie Krueger and Norman Bates, alias Suarez & Sturridge here once more to upset to depress you, I can just see the doors and windows being bolted, BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!ha ha daddies home!!

    February 16, 2014 at 9:15 am
  • Veer says:

    In just worried tht Wenger will rotate quite a bit with Bayern looming, while Brendan Rodgers will probably put forth his strongest team, as Liverpool don’t hav a midweek fixture.

    February 16, 2014 at 9:34 am
  • Steve. says:

    GET RID OF THAT STUPID FRENCH IDIOT OF A MANAGER,BEFORE IT’S TO LATE.

    February 16, 2014 at 9:39 am
    • johnhodges2012 says:

      you are the idiot

      February 16, 2014 at 10:49 am
  • nicky says:

    Can’t agree that today’s game is of huge importance. It IS more important than a League Cup encounter but not by much. One would hope that Arsene, who always gets his priorities right, will select a side just good enough to beat Liverpool, but with next Wednesday firmly in mind.

    February 16, 2014 at 9:53 am
    • James 'Raul' Stokes says:

      @Nicky: I’d say we have a better chance of winning the FA Cup than the CL, hence the reason I consider it more important.

      February 16, 2014 at 5:53 pm
  • prasad says:

    sad

    February 16, 2014 at 10:21 am
  • nijwm says:

    arteta (who is suspended for the bayern game) might start alongside wilshere or flamini. i’ve seen cazorla’s picture training in the club website, which is only a good thing. he won’t play anyway or maybe would’ve played if fit in place of ozil.

    February 16, 2014 at 10:46 am
    • James 'Raul' Stokes says:

      @nijwn: I saw that picture – the one released by the club. He was stood with Wilshere and The Ox under the headline, “Should these three be our midfield on Sunday”

      Odd.

      February 16, 2014 at 5:55 pm

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