A tremendous opportunity has presented itself for Arsenal as they continue pursuit of their second straight FA Cup. Several of the Premier League’s top clubs fell on Saturday. First-place Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham and Southampton were all eliminated from Cup play after astonishing losses to lesser clubs.
Now the Gunners enter Sunday’s fourth round Cup matchup against Brighton & Hove Albion at Amex Stadium with a very clear road ahead of them.
Arsenal and Arsene Wenger will try to learn from their EPL counterparts and be careful not to look past the Seagulls.
"We have to study them well,'' Wenger said according to ESPNFC. "In the cup, you have to be ready from the start and people like that can always surprise you if you are not ready.''
But the Gunners are ready in a way, following their massive 2-0 victory over City last week that propelled them to fifth on the EPL table and in striking distance of as high as third when league play continues.
Top scorer and Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez didn’t find the back of the net, but midfielder Santi Cazorla recorded his fifth goal of the year and forward Olivier Giroud his sixth.
Giroud especially has been on a tear of late. He’s started the Gunners last five matches, and scored four goals in three of them.
Chris Hughton’s League Championshp side, however, is coming off a big win themselves and welcomes back several performers as well. Brighton dropped Ipswich 3-2 earlier in the week, just the third time all season they’ve scored three goals in a match.
The Seagulls should be aided by the return of defender Lewis Dunk from a one-match suspension, and midfielder Jake Forster-Caskey and striker Craig Mackail-Smith due to injury.
Start Time: 11 A.M. ET
TV Channel: Fox Sports 2
Live Stream Info: A live stream is available at Fox Soccer 2 Go here
Prediction: Arsenal over Brighton 2-0