Sutton United vs Arsenal preview
Arsenal come into this game on the back of a humiliating 5-1 defeat to Bayern Munich. I’m sure there’ll be the usual “can’t take any game lightly” stuff but you couldn’t ask for much more than a non-league opponent when looking to bounce back.
The FA Cup is the Gunners’ best chance, and now perhaps only chance of silverware this season after Wednesday night’s defeat. That only adds to the importance of this game.
Sutton have beaten both Leeds and AFC Wimbledon on the way to the fifth round and this will be the biggest game in the club’s history. This is the furthest they have ever gone in the competition.
The game will be played on an artificial surface and that could influence Wenger’s selection with Danny Welbeck one who may be protected from a surface notorious for causing injury.
The pitch could be a bit of a leveller in this one. Sutton have a fantastic record on the surface. All but one of their wins have come at home on their 3G pitch this season.
Wenger hinted in Friday’s press conference that Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Ainsley Maitland-Niles will get another chance to impress. The team is likely to be very similar to that which beat Southampton 5-0 in the last round.
It would be one of the biggest shocks in FA Cup history if Sutton were to pull off an upset. Arsenal should win this one comfortably and move on to the quarter finals.
If this is to be Arsene Wenger’s final season in charge. Going out with another FA Cup would be a great way to end his time with the club. That starts with getting a victory on Monday night.