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Arsenal vs. Sunderland, FA Cup: Preview, viewing info

A weakened Sunderland comes to London to face a somewhat weakened Arsenal.

smaller zipper, fewer problems
smaller zipper, fewer problems
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Here we are again, the first weekend of January. Which means one thing: the FA Cup is back. This year, it's not minnow vs. giant, necessarily, but Premier League relegation candidates Sunderland visit the Emirates in search of a morale-boosting win that will give their fans something to be happy about as they prepare to face fellow relegation fighters Swansea next Wednesday.

Unfortunately for those morale-boost-needing fans, Big Sam Allardyce has, understandably and probably correctly, prioritized that Swansea game over this fixture and has said that he will "not play his strongest team" on Saturday. So who might take the pitch is anyone's guess - almost certainly this means no Jermain Dafoe, Lee Cattermole, or perpetual Arsenal rumored target Yann M'Vila, but who it does mean I have no idea.

This then becomes a great chance for Arsenal to rest some players as well; Wenger is famously resistant to wholesale rotation, but given Sunderland's stated preference for fringe players, le boss might take this opportunity to rest Mesut Özil, for instance. But he probably won't; Arsenal have won two of these in a row, and this is step one towards a third, so Arsene and Arsenal won't want to take even a weakened Sunderland all that lightly.

Arsenal vs. Sunderland
FA Cup, Third Round

Emirates Stadium, London

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

HOW (to watch):
US: Fox Sports 1, FoxSports2Go
Worldwide info: