The Arsenal vs Liverpool FA Cup match will take place this Sunday, February 16, 2014 (8:00 AM Pacific, 16:00 GMT) at the Emirates Stadium. There is no doubt that this game could have far reaching repercussions, as both teams gear up for the run-in. For Arsenal, it is an opportunity to silence the critics who have consistently dismissed their trophy winning credentials every time they have been beaten this season, for Liverpool, it is a chance to maintain the momentum they have built up over recent weeks, after a run of results that have meant they now can rightfully claim to be serious title contenders.
It’s been a tough week or two for Arsene Wenger, the demoralising 5-1 reversal at Anfield followed by an ineffective 0-0 played out against Man Utd were not what the doctor ordered, he then found himself becoming engaged in a war of words with Mourinho that has attracted some real press attention. Despite these distractions, Wenger remains positive and still continues to back his squad despite the well documented failure to bring much in during January.
Giroud will be rested for this game, as he will undoubtedly be the focal point of the Arsenal attack when they play Bayern Munich on Wednesday. There are likely to be a few others rested too, as the big games just keep coming. Santi-Carzola will most likely miss out due to illness and Szczesney will be rested too. Flamini will be welcomed back in to the fold though, and he will bring an element of solidarity to the midfield that has been slightly lacking in recent weeks.
Liverpool Can Kick On
There’s so many decent arguments that could be put forward for Liverpool having a shot at the League this season, not least because they have no European football to bother them. They also have the most potent strike force in the world right now by far, and they are ably backed up by a dynamic Raheem Sterling and Coutinho, Sterling must surely be a real candidate for Roy Hodgson’s England squad with the performances he has been putting in recently.
Sturridge has discovered something at Liverpool that was only fleetingly visible at his other clubs, and Suarez, well even if he’s not scoring, he’s dictating everything good that Liverpool do. Even Steven Gerrard is revelling in his more withdrawn role. Liverpool are contenders, they perhaps are slightly weak at the back, but when they have the attacking options that they currently do, it’s not so much of a concern.
When it comes to this game, Liverpool are not likely to be resting any big name players and they will be carrying the confidence of ‘that’ 5-1 victory into the match. If they perform at even 50% of the way they did in the first 20 minutes of that match, Arsenal are going to struggle.
Arsenal vs Liverpool Prediction
This game will be symbolic in terms of the impact it will have on each teams’ season. If Liverpool win, I can see them going on to overtake Arsenal in the league and I can see Arsenal struggling for the remainder of the year. People say ‘it’s only the FA Cup’, but actually, what this game represents is a chance for both sides to lay out their run-in credentials.
If Arsenal fail here, it’s going to further affect the confidence going into a game against probably the best side in Europe on Wednesday. It’s a really important game and I think both teams will be slightly cagey. It certainly won’t be like it was at Anfield, but I think the result will be the same. PREDICTION: Arsenal 0-1 Liverpool
Arsenal vs Liverpool Television
The match will be televised on Fox Sports 2 USA, and BT Sport 1 (UK).