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Leeds vs. Arsenal: FA Cup match preview

Kickoff: 3 PM EST
Elland Road, Leeds
TV coverage: Fox Soccer Channel

Arsenal travel to Leeds tomorrow for the replay of their FA Cup third round match.  The two teams drew 1-1 a week and a half ago, a late Cesc Fabregas penalty canceling out an earlier Robert Snodgrass spot-kick at the Emirates.



Wojciech Szczesny will start in goal for the Gunners again, as Lukasz Fabianski is still working off his shoulder problemBacary Sagna is also back and available after serving his three-match ban for headbutting Pablo ZabaletaAbou Diaby and Sebastien Squillaci are both still out as well, and of course, Thomas Vermaelen is MIA.

The rest of the team is available, however, and Wenger has hinted that there will have to be some rotation.  One player in particular who has not seen much time lately and who could feature is Tomas Rosicky, who has run hot and cold (more cool lately) this year, but who also is capable of providing a creative, incisive aspect to what can otherwise be a stagnant midfield (if Fabregas is not playing).

Andrei Arshavin, too, has been on the outside looking in recently; his performance in the first attempt at Leeds last weekend was not great, but then again, he was playing as the third wheel in the Marouane Chamakh / Nicklas Bendtner forward line.

Kieran Gibbs will probably feature at left-back again, and hopefully his quality crossing will stoke some Arsenal chances.  One might suspect that Wenger would be reluctant to use Denilson as a holding midfielder without Alex Song alongside him, but Song looks as though he could use a break, so perhaps a double pivot of Denilson and Jack Wilshere, or perhaps even Aaron Ramsey, could be used.

Whatever the case, a fourth-round fixture with Huddersfield Town awaits, so Arsenal have a real opportunity in front of them if they can emerge victorious from Elland Road.  If the score is level at full time, there will be extra time, and then penalties to decide a winner.

Possible lineup:


Sagna         Djourou         Koscielny        Gibbs

Ramsey        Denilson


Walcott        Chamakh       Arshavin