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Arsenal vs. Oxford United: Predicted Lineup, Bench & Score


Arsenal Training Session Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Record winners, Arsenal begin their campaign for a 15th FA Cup on Monday night. The competition holds a special place for Mikel Arteta after winning twice with Arsenal (2014 & 2015), including captaining the side in 2014. In the past two seasons, the Gunners have made an early exit, a Third Round loss to Championship side Nottingham Forest last year and a Fourth Round defeat in 2021 to Southampton.

These two sides have faced off nine times with the first coming in a 1963 FA Cup match-up. The majority of their games against one another came between 1984 and 1988 when the two clubs were both in the first division together. However, the only time they’ve played since then was the 2003 FA Cup which saw Arsenal win 2-0 at home with Dennis Bergkamp opening the scoring.

Make sure to check out the Oxford United Q&A to get up to speed on Monday’s League One opponent.

Update: The original post incorrectly had Thomas Partey listed in the starting XI rather than Mohamed Elneny.

Predicted XI


  1. Bukayo Saka
  2. Gabriel Martinelli
  3. Martin Odegaard
  4. Granit Xhaka
  5. Thomas Partey
  6. William Saliba
  7. Ben White
  8. Oleksandr Zinchenko
  9. Aaron Ramsdale
  • Left Out: Gabriel Jesus (injury), Reiss Nelson (injury) & Cedric (potential January exit)
  • While Arsenal want to win this match, they want to rest as many key starters as possible before the North London Derby. Even if they come in during the second half, limited time equals reduced risk of injury. These FA Cup matches are ideal for Turner, Holding, Tomiyasu, Elneny, Vieira, etc.
  • Monday should see the return of Emile Smith Rowe. As Aaron wrote the other day, it looks like Smith Rowe will start, ideally getting 45 to 60 minutes. That will help work him into contention to be a substitute against Tottenham. The attack really missed ESR against Newcastle as another fresh option late in the match. With him, Jesus, and Nelson all out recently the front line has been thin.
  • Eddie Nketiah will be expected to start and play, nearly every minute until a replacement is brought in. Arteta may bring one of the U21 forwards to sub in for Nketiah if Arsenal has a solid lead. Otherwise, Martinelli may be brought in to spell Nketiah late in the match. But with the Europa League returning next month, Jesus injured, and Balogun away on loan, the sooner the club can sign a new attacker the better.
  • While there is the option to rest the entire defense and play Cedric at right-back, it’s doubtful. Both from a tactical perspective and the fact that Cedric is rumored to be heading to Fulham during the January window. That likely has Holding and Tomiyasu starting alongside Gabriel.
  • It is very possible that Arteta uses Martinelli from the start in his usual position, but I would prefer to see Marquinhos. He has shown brilliant flashes earlier in the year and this is the perfect chance to give him 60 minutes. It rests Martinelli who will be needed more for the NLD than this FA Cup, in theory.

How to watch

Monday (1/9) at 3:00 pm ET / 12:00 pm PT on ESPN+.


Arsenal - 2

Oxford United - 0

Regardless of who starts, Arteta will be looking for an imposing start to the match. On the road at a League One side, expect the crowd to be behind their team in the opening phases. A multi-goal win will be the bounceback Arsenal is looking for after a frustrating draw against Newcastle and heading into the North London Derby.