By Bulldog Drummond.
There’s an amusing preview to this match on the BBC website in which “Lawro” says “Sheffield United do not look like they have got a goal in them at the moment” and then goes on to predict a scoreline of 1-1 with Sheffield winning on penalties.
Rather quaintly Lawro (not his real name) says, “Some people point the blame at former manager Arsene Wenger, but I don’t agree with that. Even his worst Gunners team would beat this current Arsenal side, easily.”
Actually Arsenal knew from at least April 2018 that Mr Wenger would be leaving, so that notion of a bad side doesn’t really hang together. But the criticism on the BBC website is pretty much what we see everywhere now, as in, “There just seems a total lack of a cohesive plan at the club when it comes to things like scouting, recruitment and contracts, and I feel sorry for manager Mikel Arteta, because none of it is his fault.”
Which seems to put all the blame on Emery, which is actually not very fair – unless “Lawro” (not his real name) is blaming the placard waving boo-boys. However to hedge their bets the BBC are saying that even if Arsenal win, they will still have plenty of problems. It is the journalists’ theme of the day and indeed was put up on the chalkboard in the now re-opened Toppled Bollard pub so everyone knew what line to follow.
Here are a couple of more interesting points from the BBC site today
- Arsenal have progressed from 13 of their past 15 FA Cup quarter-final matches, losing in this run in 2010-11 against Manchester United and 2015-16 against Watford.
- Eddie Nketiah has scored in all four of his domestic cup appearances this season for Leeds United and Arsenal, netting four goals. In his career, Nketiah has scored six goals in eight domestic cup games (FA/League Cup), averaging a goal every 83 minutes.
Sportsmole give us as a line up
Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Holding, Saka;
Nelson, Willock, Aubameyang;
The Standard, eccentric as ever, tell us that “Sheffield United vs Arsenal is scheduled for a 1pm BST kick-off ” – as if that might change, perhaps if there is a volcanic eruption or an invasion of poisonous bat-lizards. They then fail to make a team selection
The Telegraph gives us to win 2-1, which is a nice change, but they too won’t venture into a team selection either.
The 4th Official website goes with
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Shkodran Mustafi, David Luiz, Sead Kolasinac;
Reiss Nelson, Matteo Guendouzi, Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka;
Eddie Nketiah, Alexandre Lacazette
I am not sure about putting Auba on the beach – unless he really is showing signs of fatigue.
The Hard Tackle says that the manager will be conserving strength for the more important match against Norwich City, although I would have thought Arteta would fancy trying to rescue to the season by emulating Mr Wenger with a Cup win. They go with the option of giving Bellerin “a breather” and so come up with…
Mustafi, Luiz, Holding;
Maitland-Niles, Guendouzi, Willock, Saka;
Personally I would not drop Xhaka, as these last two have done. I was never part of the “get rid of him” fanaticism which is always endemic within Arsenal (Mustafi, Holdin, Luiz have all had it) and he seems to me to be doing a really good job, and is not looking tired.
Actually on that subject, Arsenal core have two headlines on Xhaka
“Granit Xhaka reveals talks with Mikel Arteta that convinced him to stay” and “Granit Xhaka’s agent confirms his exit from Arsenal”. Pesky things these players. Always changing their minds.
But Xhaka is reported injured in some quarters. However Physioroom only has these injuriees
|Calum Chambers||Knee Injury||Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury – ACL Injury||29/08/2020||Ruled Out|
|Lucas Torreira Di Pascua||Ankle/Foot Injury||Fibula Fracture||07/07/2020||50%|
|Cedric Soares||Head/Face Injury||Broken Nose||01/07/2020||50%|
|Bernd Leno||Knee Injury||Knee Ligament Injury||Ruled Out|
|Gabriel Martinelli||Knee Injury||Meniscus Tear||Ruled Out|
|Pablo Mari Villar||Ankle/Foot Injury||Ankle Ligament Injury||Ruled Out|
Here’s Sportskeeda’s line up
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Rob Holding, David Luiz, Sead Kolasinac,
Matteo Guendouzi, Joe Willock,
Reiss Nelson, Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah
It’s on BT Sprout, there are updates on 5 Live, but the best commentary comes on Arsenal TV.
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