Blackpool vs Arsenal Preview | latest team news, 4 teenagers to start + prediction

By on January 18, 2019

alexandre lacazette

Unai Emery gets his first taste of the FA Cup when Arsenal take on Blackpool at Bloomfield Road in the third round this evening.

The boss has previous knowledge of Blackpool as we beat the League One outfit 2-1 at the Emirates in the Carabao Cup back in late October but this will be a completely different type of game away from home.

The third round of the FA Cup is a special weekend and there are sure to be some shocks but Arsenal need to make sure we aren’t on the wrong end of a giant killing this evening.

We head in to the game off the back of a 4-1 win over Fulham on New Year-ls Day. It wasn’t a vintage Arsenal performance by any means but it was important to get back to winning ways after poor results against Brighton and Liverpool.

Team News

Emery is expected to rotate his squad with the likes of Bernd Leno, Sead Kolasinac, Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rested. That will open the door for the likes of Petr Cech, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Carl Jenkinson, Mohamed Elneny and Aaron Ramsey to be given recalls.

Arsenal will be without the services of Mesut Ozil yet again as he’s still nursing a knee injury while Shkodran Mustafi isn’t over his hamstring injury yet so he remains out along with Rob Holding, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Danny Welbeck.

Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal and Dinos Mavropanos returned to full training last week but this game is likely to come too soon so they won’t be risked. However, youngsters Emile Smith Rowe, Buyako Saka, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock should be involved.

As for Blackpool, they’re without Curtis Tilt, Jordan Thompson, Oliver Turton, Mark Cullen and Jimmy Ryan while Max Clayton could miss out with a hamstring problem.

Preferred line-up

We should rest Sokratis for this game and revert to a back four due to our lack of options in the middle of defence. Laurent Koscielny could retain his place and I’d like to see youngster Zech Medley given a chance alongside the Frenchman. Stephan Lichtsteiner and Carl Jenkinson can occupy the full-back positions.

Smith Rowe should be given a chance after returning to full fitness while hopefully Ramsey gets a start. Nketiah has played on the wing in the Europa League this season so he could get another run out today which would allow us to start Alexandre Lacazette up front. The Frenchman has been in and out of Emery’s side in recent weeks but this is a good opportunity for him to get some goals.

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Score & betting prediction

I expect a tough game this evening and hopefully Emery doesn’t take the task too lightly because anything can happen in the FA Cup and we could do with a decent cup run. Blackpool will be tough opposition in front of their own fans but I hope Arsenal will prove to have too much quality in the end so I’m going with Blackpool 1-3 Arsenal. The guys at www.omegatipsters.com are also tipping Arsenal to progress to the next round and you can back us to win at odds of 2/5. My predicted score of 3-1 Arsenal is available at odds of 20/1 and if we add Aaron Ramsey as first goalscorer we get tempting odds of 45/1. That’s got to be worth a few quid.