FA Cup third round

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FA Cup Preview: Arsenal v. Leeds United

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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.

 [ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores here ]

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. 


Injuries/suspensions

Arsenal: OUT — Calum Chambers, Kieran Tierney QUESTIONABLE — Dani Ceballos, Hector Bellerin, Gabriel Martinelli

Leeds: OUT — Pablo Hernandez, Adam Forshaw  QUESTIONABLE — Jamie Shackleton


Probable lineups

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.”


Prediction

Arsenal will go for blood from the start and probably until the end, while Leeds day dreams about promotion. Arsenal, 3-1.

FA Cup Sunday preview: Chelsea, Tottenham in action, Liverpool host Everton

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The third round of the FA Cup is underway, with Aston Villa being the only Premier League team to lose on Saturday. But Sunday’s action promises for quality entertainment and more possible upsets as six top-tier sides enter the tournament.

 [ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores here ]

Carlo Ancelotti and Everton travel down the road to Anfield as the Merseyside Derby headlines the oldest knockout competition in world’s Sunday action. Earlier this season, in Champions League group stage play, Jurgen Klopp and Ancelotti went head-on, with Napoli – the Italian manager’s team at the time – taking the two-match series with a victory and draw. In early December, Liverpool thumped the Toffees 5-2 at Anfield.

Meanwhile, a recovering Chelsea host a thriving Nottingham Forest, while Wayne Rooney and Derby County visit Crystal Palace. Tottenham commences their post-Mauricio Pochettino FA Cup journey as they travel to Middlesbrough, who are coming off a four-game winning streak in the Championship.

Who will win bragging rights in Liverpool? Will Jose Mourinho double down for FA Cup glory?

Below is Sunday’s full schedule of the FA Cup’s third round bouts.


Sunday’s FA Cup third round schedule

Sunday

9:01 a.m. ET: Charlton v West Brom
9:01 a.m. ET: Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
9:01 a.m. ET: Middlesbrough v Tottenham
9:01 a.m. ET: Crystal Palace v Derby County
9:01 a.m. ET: QPR v Swansea
9:01 a.m. ET: Sheffield United v AFC Fylde
9:01 a.m. ET: Crewe v Barnsley
9:01 a.m. ET: Bristol Rovers v Coventry
9:01 a.m. ET: Burton Albion v Northampton
11:01 a.m. ET: Liverpool v Everton
1:16 p.m. ET: Gillingham v West Ham

Wycombe Wanders 1-1 Aston Villa: Garde still winless after suspect PK

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  • League Two side earns replay
  • Richards scores for Villa
  • Ayew, Veretout sub on late

With 20 minutes to go, the fans at Adams Park launched into a chorus of boos as Aston Villa boss Remi Garde went to his subs bench for answers in the form of Jordan Ayew and Jordan Veretout.

All the Jordans. Surely, this is not how Garde planned his FA Cup match against Wycombe Wanderers would go, as the League Two’s Chairboys held their Premier League foes in a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

[ FA CUP: Exeter City holds youth-heavy Liverpool 2-2 ]

Micah Richards scored a first-half goal into the side netting, but Wycombe won and converted a PK early in the second half to earn a replay at Villa Park. Villa will regret the replay’s congestion of its Premier League survival slate nearly as much as the draw.

The first of the day’s FA Cup third round matches, the penalty was soft and Villa was right to feel toyed with by referee Michael Oliver. Ashley Westwood left his feet to charge into Matt Bloomfield as the Wycombe man headed a ball inside the 18. Bloomfield headed the ball and Westwood’s trailing arm made contact with his opponent.

Penalty given, and Joe Jacobson beat Villa back-up backstop Mark Bunn, who was playing in place of USMNT keeper Brad Guzan.

Villa had the better of the play all match long, showing the speed gap between PL players and three divisions down, and Ayew came close to giving his team a 2-1 lead in 80th minute. Exeter City drawing a team of Liverpool reserves was one thing. Villa had a team that should’ve easily handled its business.

Monitoring the match online, I let our dogs out into the backyard early in the second half. While thinking of how I’d frame this post  — “Can being on the winning end of a match jumpstart Villa?” — I returned to the TV to see that Wycombe had scored.

Suspect penalty or not, Saturday did very little to inspire confidence that Villa can summit their massive mountain to climb in the Premier League.