Blades walking into a gun fight?
Witnessing the scenes of Liverpool fans flocking to the streets in their thousands, Klopp crying on live television, delirious with joy, was a tear-jerking moment as a fan of the game. 30 years of pain in the League was finally over for the Reds of Merseyside as they were crowned Premier League champions.
The extraordinary footage of the Liverpool players celebrating in their secret dungeon, had me reminiscing of when Arsenal last celebrated winning the league. The Invincibles revelling in their success at White Hart Lane, as we clinched the league with a 2-2 draw. If I am not mistaken that was way back when TELETEXT was still a thing, praise the lord Social media came around…
Anyway, moving onto the Gunners FA Cup Quarter Final against the Blades, Sheffield United.
Arsenal travel to Bramall lane this Sunday afternoon on the back of a morale boosting 0-2 away win against Southampton. As the Gunners prepare for their last 8 encounter against the blades, the players and staff will be aware this is their last opportunity for silverware this season.
Arteta will be drilling the importance of the FA Cup into the players’ minds this weekend. The Arsenal manager famously captained the team to the trophy back in 2014, following a stunning comeback from 2-0 down against Hull City.
It is hard to forget that glorious free kick by the little magician Santi Carzola, on that BEAUTIFUL May afternoon.
Lady luck has not been with the Gunners since the return of football, Arteta’s Arsenal were recently dealt another hammer blow. Gabriel Martinelli will be unavailable for the remainder of the season following surgery on a knee injury.
Martinelli’s Brazilian compatriot, David Luiz is available for selection having served his two-match suspension for his red card horror show against Man City.
Arsenal bad boy Matteo Guendouzi returns to the squad after being made surplus to requirements against Southampton. I hope the stories circulating of him wanting to leave the club are fabricated, I would love to see him develop under Arteta for at least another season.
Mikel Arteta has been as ruthless as betting ads on YouTube when it comes to his squad selection. After the win at Southampton, Arteta issued a statement to the players, “All the players that are here, I am counting on them. If they want to jump on the boat, they are more than welcome.”
Reckon the Arsenal boys are any good at swimming?
The likes of Lacazette and Ozil have felt the Spaniard’s wrath this season, at times looking out of their depth and have since been cast overboard. However, I will be surprised if neither get significant minutes under there belt, this will be Arsenal’s 4th game in 11 days.
Meanwhile, Sheffield United goalkeeper Dean Henderson returns to the fray after being ineligible against parent club Manchester United in midweek. Defender John Egan who missed the Blade’s defeat to United, is welcomed back following his suspension.
Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United have taken 4 points off Arsenal in the 2 games they have played this season, notably winning 1-0 the previous time Arsenal paid a visit. Wilder spoke of the record in his Pre-Match press conference.
“We can take confidence, we have had two positive results, a home win and an away draw. So, we can gain confidence but only if we produce a full-tilt maximum performance and that has to be the aim.”
In the one draw and two defeats for the Blades since Project Restart, they have failed to register a single goal. Chris wilder’s men will want to end their drought in a hurry, they have scored 6 goals in the FA Cup this season, each one coming by a different goal scorer.
Arsenal have triumphed in the FA Cup in three of the six seasons we have knocked out Sheffield United, those years being 1936, 2003 and 2005. Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman famously defied physics in 2003 with an astonishing save to deny Sheffield’s Paul Peschchisolido. Once the Arsenal legend’s statue is finally erected at the stadium, I am sure it will resemble that preposterous save.
The Gunners who have been the most successful club in this competition with an astonishing 13 wins, have proven to be a resilient side once they reach the later stages of England’s prestigious cup competition.
It is lucky 13 for the Arsenal as they have won 13 of their last 15 FA Cup Quarter Final fixtures. This bodes well for the Gunners as we reach the important stages of the cup
I expect Eddie Nketiah, a proud product of the Arsenal academy, to retain his place in the starting 11. The 21-year-old has been clinical in front of goal in the FA Cup this season, scoring in all 4 of the games he has played in.
This is not only Arsenal’s sole chance of a trophy this season, it is most likely the only route into Europe next season. There will be no plain sailing for the winners of this tie, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea all still feature.
Worryingly, Arsenal have only won once in their previous 8 visits to Bramall Lane, their last win coming in 2007. If this match took place Pre-Corona, I may have swayed towards a Blade’s victory.
However, without the incredible atmosphere Blade’s fans produce at home, I envisage an Arsenal win.
Catch the next episode of the soap opera which is Arsenal Football club this Sunday at 1pm, you will not want to miss it…
COME ON YOU GUNNERS!
Score prediction: Sheffield United 1-2 Arenal
Preferred line-up is:
Martinez, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Sokratis, Saka, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Ozil, Pepe, Aubameyang, Nketiah
Written by: Hassan El-gendy