We began our quest to try and add a record-extending FA Cup No. 15 to our list of honors when we headed to Oxford United in the third round on Monday night.
It will be our first meeting with the U in 20 years, and our maiden trip to Kassam Stadium as we take on the currently 14th-placed team in League One, who beat Woking and Exeter City to get here.
Having suffered a shock exit at this stage of the competition last year at the hands of Nottingham Forest, it has been 27 years since we last experienced third round eliminations in successive seasons as we aim to set up a fourth round meeting in Manchester City. .
Up and down season for U’s
Karl Robinson’s side come into this cup tie with one win in their last six games in League One, although that was a 3-1 home win over Charlton Athletic in the last game of 2022.
A sluggish start to the season saw the U flirt with the relegation zone in October, before embarking on an eight-game unbeaten run that quickly landed them in the top half. However, defeats to Ipswich Town and Exeter City on either side on New Year’s Eve have seen them establish themselves in mid-table.
The FA Cup has brought some cheer though, with Woking dispatched 2-1 away from home, before a thumping 4-1 win over Exeter, where Welsh international Billy Bodin scored a brace to take his competition tally to three this term.
who to look at
Captain Elliot Moore is often associated in defense with Scotland international Stuart Findlay, who arrived in the summer from the Philadelphia Union. Left-back Ciaron Brown has been capped twice for Northern Ireland and Djanvan Anderson is a right-back previously on the books for Ajax, AZ Alkmaar and Lazio.
Long-serving midfielders Cameron Brannagan and James Henry have played more than 200 times for the club, with the former leading the scoring charts this season with nine goals. Winger Bodin is next with seven, having featured once for Wales in 2019.
Featured in midfield is former Hale End graduate Marcus McGuane, who played twice for US before moving to Barcelona in 2018. Wing midfielder Josh Murphy is the twin brother of Newcastle United’s Jacob, and Lewis Bate has impressed on loan from Leeds United.
What managers say
Arteta: “It’s always difficult, I’ve played there several times and I’ve had very difficult games, so it will be difficult. We have to take the competition and the opponent very seriously and play well, at a high level to win the game.”
“From what we have seen they have played in different ways, and in terms of results they have also had a bit of everything. It will be a very special night and everyone will level up and be tough. ” – read every word of his pre-game press conference
Robinson: “This distracts us a bit from our league form, but if anyone saw our league performances over the last seven or eight games, we’ve been good.
“I am sure that the quality of Arsenal can take us out of our rhythm very quickly. We will have total and superior respect for them, just as we have respect for Fleetwood the following week. We just have to make sure we care about ourselves, with the full respect we have for the opposition.”
Gabriel Jesus and Reiss Nelson remain out with knee and hamstring injuries respectively, while Mikel Arteta revealed that Emile Smith Rowe could play a role if he continues to train well before the game; he read more about ES recovery.
Oxford goalkeeper Simon Eastwood could be in line to return after missing recent games with a calf injury, while left-back Brandon Fleming completed his loan move from Hull City in time to be registered for this game. .
Marcus Browne is also likely to miss out with a hamstring problem, while long-term injury victims Kyle Joseph and Sam Baldock are back in training.
facts and statistics
We have progressed from our last 13 FA Cup ties against teams outside the top two divisions of English football, the last being against Portsmouth in 2020. Wrexham were the last team not in the top two leagues to knock us out in January. 1992, winning 2-1 as a fourth division team.
We’ve only been knocked out in two of our last 26 FA Cup third round games, both times against Nottingham Forest in 2017/18 and 2021/22.
Oxford haven’t scored in any of their last five games against us in all competitions (D3 L2). The last U player to score was Billy Hamilton in a 3-0 win in May 1986 in the First Division.
The U have only progressed since one of their last eight FA Cup ties against Premier League sides, knocking out Swansea City in the third round in 2015/16.
David Coote is the man in the middle of this cup tie, in what will be his sixth game in charge for us, his first since a 3-0 win at Brentford in September.
We have won three and drawn once under his watchful eye, the only defeat coming last season when Brighton triumphed at the Emirates in April.
VAR technology and the goal line will not be operational for this game.
Referee: David Coote Assistant Referee 1: Lee Betts Assistant Referee 2: Timothy Wood 4th Official: Michael Salisbury Past Matches
This will be the tenth time we’ve faced the U, and the first in exactly exactly 20 years.
In January 2003 we won 2-0 in a remarkable game because Dennis Bergkamp scored his 100th goal for us that day, in a campaign in which we lifted the trophy; read more about that afternoon.
Our last league meeting came in March 1988 when we drew 0-0 at Oxford’s old home, the Manor Ground. In total we have won four and drawn three of our previous games against United.
no more red 2023
This accessory will see us once again wearing a special all-white stripe, aiming to raise awareness for our No More Red campaign, which aims to help keep young people safe from knife crime and youth violence.
The kit will never be commercially available and will only be given to individuals who make a positive difference in the community by volunteering with our No More Red partners and charities.
Find out more about the initiative and how you can get your hands on one of these limited edition t-shirts.
Tune in to Arsenal.com and the official app one hour before kick-off, where Nick Bright and Adrian Clarke will lead the Emirates.
They’ll talk about the No More Red campaign, look at FA Cup third round ties from years past and provide insight into the problems our opponents could raise.
Then, starting at 8:00pm, Dan Roebuck will be commentating live at Kassam Stadium, keeping you informed on everything that’s going on.
Copyright 2023 Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to quote from this article is granted subject to proper credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.