Preston? Never been there. Deepdale? Never been there. North End? Same. Did I ever see Tom Finney play? No. Have I ever heard of any of PNE’s players? No. Their manager, Simon Grayson …. well, I did see him play for Blackburn.
In other words I have no qualifications to write this pre-match other than my love for their opposition.
I love the FA Cup, always have. I love that we won it twice in the past 3 years. That said, some of my most painful memories are attached to the FAC (Wrexham 😦 ++). Is there anything as painful as losing in a Cup Final? Perhaps a kick in the crown jewels but not much else.
A loss today could be equally painful and it is not beyond the realms of possibility. Play like we did for the first 70 minutes at B’mouth and we are in peril.
Positives: Welbeck is on the bench and ready to establish himself as an Arsenal great. Nigeria didn’t qualify for the ACN so Iwobi is available for selection. Bellerin cannot play so poorly twice in a row. OG is in fine scoring form.
Not so Great: We only have two fit and available MF’s. We only have Jenkinson should AW decide to give Hector a rest, though this is the level where he excels. Sanchez will be rested. Ozil is sick. Santi is out for the next few notes. Koscielny limped off at the Cherries. BFG isn’t fit yet.
I am hoping Holding gets another chance today, he is a fine prospect. With Chambers doing very well at struggling Boro, we have two fine young CBs for the future.
Bellerin Holding Gabriel Monreal
Ramsey Xhaka Iwobi
Ox OG Perez
Actually it is not true that I know none of Preston’s players, they have Dane in the team – the 6´7″ Simon Makienok who is a central striker. He used to play for Brondby which is a major black mark.
We can expect hoof ball from PNE. We can also expect a dreadful pitch designed to negate our silky skills. It will be a hard physical battle and let’s just hope we can leave Deepdale with a victory and no injuries.
Let it be so.