FA CUP 3RD Round
07/01/2024 – 18:30

Will Arsenal be able to conquer Liverpool without the mercurial MO?

Arsenal kicks off their 2024 fixture schedule by hosting Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium, with both sides set to engage in some bone-crunching tackles in the headline fixture of the FA Cup third round. Both the Gunners and the Reds will be hoping to better their efforts from last season’s tournament, as they were eliminated in the fourth round by Manchester City and Brighton, respectively. This will be the first big acid test for Jurgen Klopp and his troops as they begin temporary life without Mo Salah, due to his AFCON commitments.

Mikel Arteta’s side rounded up 2023 in worrying form, not winning any of their final three Premier League games (D1, L2), including back-to-back London derby defeats to West Ham United and Fulham. This could be the ideal game for Arsenal to make an early statement and hope they can kick on to reach silverware this season. When the clubs met back in December, for their blockbuster Premiership clash. They had to share the spoils, as goals from Gabriel and Salah cancelled each other out.

This Liverpool side may be the biggest threat to their host’s impressive home FA Cup record, as their aim will be to surpass this stage of the competition for what will be a 12th time in their last 13 attempts. Jürgen Klopp will have to mastermind a strategy to do so without his main weapon up front, as he’ll be losing Mohamed Salah to Africa Cup of Nations duties prior to this match.


Oleksandr Zinchenko is still the only key injury doubt for Arsenal ahead of Sunday’s fixture. Takehiro Tomiyasu and Mohamed Elneny have heeded the call from their respective nations ahead of the Asian Cup and Africa Cup of Nations. Thomas Partey pulled out of the Ghana squad for AFCON to focus on his recovery, and Arteta is unlikely to risk Fabio Vieira, who is still returning to fitness after a significant injury. Arteta could pick a strong line-up ahead of a 13-day winter break before their next game against Palace, but back-to-back defeats have called into question the form and fitness of some of his regular starters.

Liverpool will be without Mohamed Salah and Wataru Endo, both off to the AFCON and Asian Cup, respectively, while Dominik Szoboszlai is a doubt after picking up a hamstring issue in the win over Newcastle. This will be the best opportunity for Arsenal to advance, but their open and attacking play could play into the hands of Pool’s quick players. The home fans will need to bring the noise and the help of the 12th man may be the factor that could see the Gunners sneak into the next round.

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CORRECT SCORE 2-2 @ 11/1

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