Arsenal heads into Sunday’s FA Cup third-round tie at Championship Nottingham Forest confident of progressing to the fourth round.
Some have rather underplayed the Gunners record of winning the FA Cup in three of the last four years. However, it is an impressive record considering that the grand old competition is now taken quite seriously by most of the English football big guns.
In truth, the FA Cup maybe Arsenal’s best hope of collecting silverware this season. The Gunners are currently odds of 10/1 to win the trophy this season, sixth favourites behind the Gunners other top-six rivals in the betting.
The bookmakers obviously do not fancy Arsene Wenger’s side to win the competition. However, the north London side have upset the applecart in the last few seasons by seeing off some top teams most notably last season champions’ Chelsea.
The Gunners are still in the League Cup at the semi-final stages, while also in the knockout stages of the Europa League. The competition for both trophies will be fierce, with both competitions containing top teams.
However, in the FA Cup early stages there is a possibility that a number of the big guns could exit the competition. The draw has been relatively kind to Arsenal. For example, Premier League Liverpool and Everton were paired together, while Manchester City host Sean Dyche’s Burnley at the Etihad Stadium.
Arsenal’s third round opponents are unlikely to believe that the FA Cup is their priority, so could rest players to concentrate on their Championship campaign.
The Gunners boss Arsene Wenger will rotate his squad as he routinely does in cup competition. However, you would like to think that any team the Gunners field would have enough quality to see off the Tricky Trees.
Arsenal are involved in a host of competitions, so Wenger is likely to juggle his squad and hopefully, he gets his rotation right. Despite all the naysayers, the FA Cup is still a special competition and well worth winning.
For Arsenal to win it four years out of five would be a fantastic achievement, regardless of what their struggles in the Premier League.
If the Gunners do not get a top-four spot, then the least they can do is win a trophy and at present time, it looks very winnable. Hopefully, the Gunners do not fall at the first hurdle and give the supporters something to cheer about this season.
Is the FA Cup the Gunners best chance of silverware this season?