The pick of this weekend’s FA Cup third round ties is undoubtedly at the Emirates Stadium, as Arsenal take on Tottenham in a North London derby.
Both sides come into this game with confidence after encouraging Premier League runs. Arsenal needed to goals in the dying minutes to shake off Cardiff City on New Year’s Day, which was their third win in succession, and enough to keep them top of the table ahead of Manchester City and Chelsea.
Their squad, however, is among the most depleted in the Premier League. Nicklas Bendtner is the latest player to be struck down; injured in the act of scoring against the Bluebirds. Manager Arsene Wenger is likely to field his strongest available side here, but the Gunners are looking increasingly threadbare.
Tottenham dug deep to earn the second win at Old Trafford in two seasons, with Emmanuel Adebayor once again on the scoresheet. The Togolese striker has repaid the faith shown by new Head Coach Tim Sherwood, who could not have made a much more impressive start since succeeding Andre Villas-Boas.
It is the first time the two sides have met in the FA Cup since 1993, when eventual winners Arsenal booked their Wembley place with a 1-0 victory. They also won by that scoreline in the Premier League in the early weeks of this season, with Olivier Giroud scoring the winner in the first half.
Along with Bendtner, Arsenal are without several players including Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs, while Olivier Giroud is a major doubt.
Paulinho, Younes Kaboul and Andros Townsend are all missing for Tottenham. Jan Vertonghen and Sandro are doubtful, but Jermain Defoe could return from a hamstring injury.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Arsenal