Arsenal and Tottenham face off against each other in arguably the most exciting match-up of the FA Cup weekend draws as Arsene Wenger‘s men look to get one over the Spurs for the second time this season. The last time these two sides met each other was during the beginning of the season when an under-pressure Wenger came out flying against Andre Villas Boas‘ newly assembled team. The result brought untold joy to the Gunners’ fans as they sang merrily of the victory and the stark contrast of the transfer money spent by the two clubs at that point. Arsenal was yet to sign Mesut Ozil at that time, and the German international might have to wait to take part in the bitter rivalry if he does not completely recover from his shoulder injury.
Arsenal are facing a mini injury crisis at the moment with preferred striker Olivier Giroud and midfield maestro Aaron Ramsey out, along with Danish international Nicklas Bendtner — the hero of the Gunners’ last game against Cardiff City. With the other recognized striker Yaya Sanogo yet to recover fully, Wenger must ponder if he should persist with Lukas Podolski — who was ineffective against Cardiff and finally made way for Bendtner after the hour mark — as the center forward or deploy the speedy Theo Walcott in that position against the Spurs.
Tottenham are coming off a remarkable victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford and would be counting on their new-found confidence and the rejuvenated Emmanual Adebayor to overcome the Gunners at the Emirates. Tim Sherwood is getting his squad to tick steadily as the club is trying to put the Villas Boas tenure behind them.
It is imperative for Arsenal to progress to the next round and keep their Cup hopes alive after they were beaten soundly by Chelsea in their Capital One Cup encounter earlier this season. Tackling Tottenham’s momentum might be the biggest obstacle for the Gunners as they attempt to find the best squad to keep their own form alive after a string of disappointing results in mid-December. With the pressure of the Premier League temporarily lifted, the match could be a perfect opportunity for some of Arsenal’s promising youngsters to shine and make their name in the North London derby history.