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Jan 6, 2020 at 7.56pm UK at Emirates Stadium
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Preview: Arsenal vs. Leeds United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday's FA Cup third-round clash between Arsenal and Leeds United, including team news and predicted lineups.

One of the standout ties in the third round of this season's FA Cup will take place at the Emirates Stadium on Monday night as Arsenal welcome Championship leaders Leeds United.

The Gunners will enter the match off the back of a morale-boosting 2-0 win over Manchester United in the Premier League, while Leeds drew 1-1 with West Bromwich Albion in the Championship on New Year's Day.

Match preview

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta pictured in January 2020© Reuters

No team has won the FA Cup on more occasions than Arsenal, with the capital club lifting the famous trophy on 13 occasions. Their last success came in 2017, having been knocked out by Nottingham Forest and Man United in their last two participations in the competition.

The Gunners are still in the Europa League and will feel that they can make a strong play for the trophy, but the FA Cup could well represent their best chance of silverware this season.

It would be fair to say that the atmosphere at the club has changed since Mikel Arteta's arrival, and the Spaniard picked up his first victory as head coach against Man United on New Year's Day. The Red Devils were poor at the Emirates Stadium, but it was an excellent performance from Arsenal, who will now be looking to build some momentum.

Monday's clash will actually be the 17th FA Cup tie between Arsenal and Leeds, with Thierry Henry scoring the only goal of the match when they last locked horns in the competition in January 2012.

Indeed, with Leeds struggling to get out of the Championship, four of the last five meetings between the two sides have been in this particular competition. Not since May 2003 in the Premier League have the Whites overcome the London club, though, which is an indication of the size of their task on Monday night.

Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa on December 7, 2019© Reuters

The Leeds supporters will not be getting ahead of themselves after what happened last season, but the team do appear well-placed to finally secure a return to the Premier League for the 2020-21 campaign.

Indeed, the Whites are currently top of the Championship table despite winning just one of their last five in the league. Indeed, a 1-1 draw away to the leaders West Brom on New Year's Day kept them at the summit on goal difference, and there is no question that the league is the priority this season.

The chance to progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup at Arsenal's expense will be enticing, though, particularly when considering that it has been some time since Leeds made an impression in the competition.

They have actually lost their last three FA Cup ties to Sutton United, Newport County and Queens Park Rangers but have previous in the famous tournament, lifting the trophy in 1972.

Marcelo Bielsa's side are not back in Championship action until next Saturday, though, and therefore it is not a surprise that a strong team is set to be sent onto the field at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal form (all competitions): DLDDLW

Leeds United form (all competitions): WDLDWD

Team News

Arsenal striker Gabriel Martinelli celebrates scoring their second goal against Liverpool on October 30, 2019© Reuters

Arsenal will be without the services of Calum Chambers and Kieran Tierney through injury, while Hector Bellerin and Gabriel Martinelli are both doubts due to hamstring issues.

Martinelli is being tipped to shake off the complaint to start, though, and Arteta is expected to make changes from the side that impressed against Man United on Wednesday night.

Fit-again Dani Ceballos should start in an advanced position, while Rob Holding, Emiliano Martinez, Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka should all come into the first XI.

As for Leeds, Bielsa confirmed during Saturday's press conference that youngsters Illan Meslier and Robbie Gotts would both make their first-team debuts at the Emirates Stadium.

Barry Douglas, Gaetano Berardi and Ezgjan Alioski have also been confirmed as starters in London, but Pablo Hernandez, Tyler Roberts and Adam Forshaw will miss out through injury.

Patrick Bamford should return to the starting XI at centre-forward, while Kalvin Phillips and Jack Harrison are both expected to keep their spots with Bielsa hinting at a strong side.

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Maitland-Niles, Holding, Sokratis, Saka; Guendouzi, Torreira; Martinelli, Ceballos, Nelson; Lacazette

Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Meslier; Ayling, White, Berardi, Douglas; Phillips, Klich; Gotts, Harrison, Alioski; Bamford

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Arsenal 2-1 Leeds United

Leeds will fancy their chances of making it a tough game for Arsenal, particularly when considering that the Gunners not expected to be at full strength. Arteta does appear to have made a big impression in his short time as head coach, though, and we are tipping another positive result for the Spaniard here.

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