2018-19 FA Cup: Fourth Round – Friday

This weekend’s FA Cup fourth round action gets underway with a huge clash at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal meet last season’s beaten finalists, Manchester United. 

This competition represents the best hope of a trophy for both teams but who will move closer towards the World’s oldest football trophy? 

 

Team news

Arsenal will be without fullback, Hector Bellerin after the Spaniard ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament against Chelsea last weekend. 

Rob Holding (knee) and Danny Welbeck (ankle) are both ruled out whilst ex Man Utd player, Henrikh Mkhitaryan is set to resume training in coming days following a foot injury but won’t feature here. 

Manchester United will have Luke Shaw available following illness whilst Marcus Rashford has recovered from a knock suffered against Brighton last time out. 

Aleix Sanchez could be in line for a start against his former club, having sat out recent games with a hamstring problem. 

Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling (foot) are back training but aren’t fit enough yet to feature in the squad. 

Maurone Fellaini is United’s long-term absentee with a calf injury. 

 

Stat Attack 

  • Arsenal have won two of last five FA Cup meetings which took place before the final (W2, L3). 
  • This is the first FA Cup meeting between these sides to take place at the Emirates, with the last meeting held at Arsenal’s home ground coming at Highbury in 1988, where the Gunners won their two previous home FA Cup clashes with Manchester United.
  • Arsenal beat Manchester United en route to two of their last three FA Cup titles. 
  • Romelu Lukaku has scored in six of his seven FA Cup games for Manchester United.
  • Ole Gunnar could extend his 100% start at Manchester United to eight matches with victory, despite having only scored twice against Arsenal as a United player between 1996 and 2007. 

 

Prediction

Arsenal have proven tough to beat at home as proven last weekend by Chelsea who struggled with the Gunners’ quality, particularly energy. 

Manchester United however have been an entirely different beast under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in past month, with solid performances when going forward whilst David De Gea is back on form as demonstrated in his last two outings. 

A draw therefore is probably a decent result to bet on here for my liking. 

Prediction: Arsenal 1-1 Manchester United

Result: Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United

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