Now that the FA Cup third round ties are finished, it’s time to look at what lies ahead in the fourth round. For the Premier League leaders Arsenal, a much anticipated North London Derby against Tottenham was the fate for the third round. The Gunners easily brushed aside their bitter rivals 2-0 thanks to goals from Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky.
After facing another Premier League squad in the third round, fans hoped the club would be rewarded with an easier foe in the next round and that’s exactly what they received. The Gunners were gifted a home match against Coventry City, currently 10th in League One, the third tier of English football. The Sky Blues secured a spot in the fourth round after defeating Barnsley 2-1.
The FA Cup tie lies in between a pair of Premier League matches for Arsenal that should be winnable, but allows Arsène Wenger to rest the starters against Coventry City if needed. Also, with the match at home, the manager should be more trusting of his youth and reserve players as they’ll have a comfortable atmosphere to showcase their skills against a weaker club.
While the FA Cup should still be a priority for the Gunners this season, as a winnable form of silverware, an easy fourth round matchup allows Wenger to not have to worry about risking senior members as much as a tie against another Premier League club would have. Especially with Theo Walcott having just torn his ACL in the previous round, coupled with a number of senior members still recovering from injury, Wenger will be looking for any and all chances to give his starters a much needed rest.
If the Gunners can mimic their fine form in the league for the cup matches, fans should expect a shiny new trophy to go in the Emirates trophy case.