Preview: Preston v Arsenal, team news, 18-yr-old starts + prediction

By on January 7, 2017

Lucas-Perez arsenal

Arsenal take on Championship side Preston North End at Deepdale in the third round of the FA Cup this evening [kick off 17.30pm].

We’ve just come out of the busy festive period and unfortunately dropped out of the top four in the Premier League following Tuesday night’s dramatic 3-3 draw at Bournemouth.

It was a game that divided opinion for many reasons. Obviously we should never have found ourselves losing 3-0 in the first place but there’s no doubt the boys showed great character to come back and salvage a point.

Anyway, it’s FA Cup matters that are the focus today and we face a tricky trip to Preston North End – who sit mid-table in the Championship – so let’s hope the players have their minds on today’s game.

Team news

Wenger is set to make plenty of changes to his starting eleven as he takes the opportunity to rest some tired legs following the festive period.

Cech, Koscielny and Sanchez are all confirmed non-starters as they’ll be rested while Ozil also won’t be risked having only just recovered from flu.

Walcott and Gibbs haven’t recovered from their injuries so miss out along with Cazorla and Mertesacker while Coquelin has been ruled out for at least 3 weeks with a hamstring injury.

Perez was able to train yesterday so it looks as though he’s overcome minor ankle problem while Welbeck could make his first appearance in the squad this season.

Preferred line-up

I hope we also rest Bellerin as he’s been carrying an ankle knock so Jenkinson could get a run-out at right-back while I’d like to see Holding alongside Gabriel in the middle of defence.

With Elneny away at the AFCON we have limited options in midfield so it’s time for Wenger to finally unleash Ramsey/Xhaka in the middle of the park.

Oxlade-Chamberlain and Iwobi should line-up in attack alongside 18-year-old Jeff Reine-Adelaide while I’d like to see Perez given a chance to impress up front.


No doubt Preston will be right up for this game so I’m expecting a proper cup tie but we have an excellent record against lower-league opposition with Wenger losing just one of his 36 ties, so I fancy us to book our place in the fourth round. It will probably start out tight but I’m backing the boys to win it 3-1 in the end. Preston 1-3 Arsenal.

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