The upcoming highlight of the FA Cup’s third round fixtures this weekend features Arsenal and Liverpool clashing at the Emirates Stadium. These two clubs, boasting a combined total of 22 FA Cup trophies, stand as highly successful in the competition’s history, having met each other 17 times, including three finals.
Over the years, Manchester United has eliminated Liverpool from the FA Cup more times (10), with Arsenal close behind at 8; likewise, only Manchester United (8) has knocked Arsenal out of the cup more times than Liverpool (5).
Fresh from an impressive 4-2 victory against Newcastle, Liverpool enters this encounter as the current leaders of the Premier League. Under Jürgen Klopp’s guidance, they’ve had a successful festive season, winning twice and drawing against Sunday’s opponents, Arsenal. Their recent performance has significantly boosted their chances of winning the league from 22.4% to 34.6%. They stand as the in-form team in the English top flight. Apart from an away loss in their final Europa League group stage match, a match of little consequence, Liverpool hasn’t been defeated in their last 11 matches across all competitions (with 7 wins and 4 draws).
However, their busy schedule did result in injuries to Dominik Szoboszlai and Kostas Tsimikas. Moreover, crucial players Mohamed Salah and Wataru Endo will be absent due to international duties in the Africa Cup of Nations and Asian Cup.
Although Caoimhin Kelleher has been Liverpool’s regular cup goalkeeper in recent seasons, the difficulty of this fixture, combined with an upcoming winter break and the expectation that Kelleher will play against Fulham in Liverpool’s Carabao Cup semi-final, suggests that Alisson might start in goal for this match.