Mikael Arteta and Marcelo Bielsa will square off for the first time as Arsenal host Leeds United at Emirates Stadium on Monday in the third round of the FA Cup.
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The Spaniard and the Gunners kicked off 2020 in grand fashion, edging Manchester United 2-0, but their debut in this year’s FA Cup doesn’t project to be a walk in the park. Leeds are currently the Championship’s top-of-the-table side, with only four losses to their name.
That said, there is a significant chance Bielsa – the man who Arteta’s teacher, Pep Guardiola, has referred to as the “best manager in the world” – will not focus on the tournament, and instead will double down on promotion.
Leeds: OUT — Pablo Hernandez, Adam Forshaw QUESTIONABLE — Jamie Shackleton
Arsenal: Martinez; Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Holding, Saka; Willock, Guendouzi; Pepe, Ceballos, Nelson; Aubameyang
Leeds: Meslier; Ayling, White, Cooper, Alioski; Phillips; Helder Costa, Gotts, Klich, Harrison; Bamford
What they’re saying
Arteta on Bielsa: “When you talk to players that had him as a coach, the words that they have for him are always positive.”
Bielsa on the importance of playing against Arsenal: “Of course it is a big challenge for us. It is enough to see the players and the prestige and level they have. When people think that we are the favorite in one match, we don’t consider things like that, neither with the opposite, which is in this case. Every time we compete we trust in our resources and respect our opponent’s resources.We will always do this with the wish to impose our style and we will try to do this on Monday.”
Arsenal will go for blood from the start and probably until the end, while Leeds day dreams about promotion. Arsenal, 3-1.