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Arsenal vs Spurs Preview: Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man & Predicted Score

Arsenal entertain north London rivals Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening. Here is a preview for the game including team news and prediction.

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Arsenal entertain north London rivals Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening in the third round of the FA Cup.

The Gunners sit top of the Premier League table following Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Cardiff City, so should be full of confidence heading into the game.

The FA Cup was the last trophy Arsenal have lifted, with a penalty shoot-out win securing victory over Manchester United back in 2005, so Arsene Wenger will be desperate to end their drought by claiming his fourth FA Cup this season.

The visitors are also in good form and saw their top-four hopes boosted with a 2-1 win over champions Manchester United at Old Trafford on New Year’s Day.

Spurs have a rich history in this competition having won it on eight separate occasions, but the last time was way back in 1991 so Tim Sherwood would love to be the manager who was to end that barren spell this campaign.

The two sides have already met once this season with Arsenal running out 1-0 winners at the Emirates back in September, while the last time the north London giants met in the FA Cup saw the Gunners win the 2001 semi-final 2-1.

Team News

Arsenal have something of a striker crisis on their hands after Nicklas Bendtner picked up an ankle injury during their 2-0 win over Cardiff. Olivier Giroud has recovered from an ankle knock but is still likely to miss out after being struck down with illness.

Kieran Gibbs and Aaron Ramsey remain on the sidelines with calf and thigh injuries, but Mesut Ozil could feature after returning to training on Friday following a minor shoulder injury – although Wenger has hinted he may not risk him from the start.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still short of fitness following a serious knee injury and he’s still unavailable along with Yaya Sanogo and Abou Diaby.

Tomas Rosicky could come in after impressing from the bench last time out with Santi Cazorla the man potentially dropping out.

Tottenham have been boosted with the news that Emmanuel Adebayor is fit to face his former side after recovering from severe cramp. The striker is expected to start up front once again alongside Roberto Soldado in Sherwood’s attacking 4-4-2 formation.

Paulinho has been ruled out for a month with an ankle problem and he joins Sandro (calf), Jan Vertonghen (ankle), Kyle naughton (ankle) and Younes Kaboul (ankle) on the sidelines.

Andros Townsend, Jermain Defoe and Lewis Holtby all returned to training on Friday but are unlikely to be risked from the start, so Sherwood is likely to stick with the side that beat United.

Likely Line-Ups

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Key Man

Theo Walcott: The speedster has a decent record against Spurs and his pace and goal threat will be key in this game. Walcott’s match-up with Rose could be vital in determining the outcome of the game and Spurs will have to keep him quiet if they want to book their place in the next round.

Predicted Score

Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham: These games are usually entertaining affairs but we can see the Gunners edging this one with home advantage proving pivotal.

What team would you like to see start and what’s your score prediction? Share your views below.

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