Oxford vs Arsenal Prediction and Analysis
Premier League leaders Arsenal have a seemingly easy away trip in their FA Cup debut this season against League One mid-table Oxford United.
In fact, the Bulls are in 14th position in the table of this league.
Which is closer to the danger zone (7 points) than the promotion play-off places.
The hosts' current form is also weak - 1-2-2 in the last 5 official matches.
Whatever I say about Arsenal, it will still be little.
This year, Mikel Arteta's squad has dictated football fashion in England.
Something that hadn't happened in years is now a fact - to lead in the Premier League after the New Year.
Surely the Spanish manager of the Gunners will want progress from his own for the FA Cup as well.
After last year's so early exit from Nottingham Forest.
It would be a huge surprise if Arsenal stumble against Oxford United.
I don't believe that will happen. On the contrary, I expect a clear victory for the Londoners.
The last time these two teams played each other was back in the FA Cup and Arsenal won 2-0.
I predict the same result today.
Oxford United - statistics and info
Oxford beat Woking and Exeter to reach the 3rd round of the FA Cup.
But at the same time, they can boast just one win in their last six Ligue 1 games.
After losing 0-1 at home to Exeter in the Championship at the weekend.
United's players failed to convert 70% of ball possession into goals in the first half.
And they were made to pay when Sam Nombe scored the only goal in the 79th minute for the Hellenes.
Manager Carl Robinson said:
"You can't play like we did in the first half and not score.
We are not as aggressive in the final third of the pitch as we should be.
We also have to defend as a team.
Exeter's goal came from two of our players not doing their job. This is so disappointing.
There's a transfer window coming up and I don't want to talk openly about our intentions. But we have two injured strikers .
We have to make sure we get reinforcements to forward positions.''
Otherwise, Oxford has a good playmaker in the person of former Liverpool player Cameron Brannigan.
But the lack of a strong figure in front positions speaks for itself.
Arsenal - statistics and info
Arsenal's impressive run of five consecutive Premier League victories ended with a disappointing goalless draw against Newcastle a week ago.
The Gunners dominated the match. But they failed to break down the Premier League's most expensive defence.
And so they dropped points at the Emirates Stadium for the first time this season.
Mikel Arteta has complained about two "scandalous" penalty decisions.
Dan Byrne escapes a penalty for pulling Gabriel Magalaes' shirt. As well as a possible sleight of hand by Jacob Murphy.
"I'm really proud of the way we played. The way we dominated the game. The approach we had from the start," said the Spaniard.
“We lacked that spark in the final third to find that opening, to find the right moment and the extra pass and a bit of finishing quality.
But we had many situations in and around the penalty area to do better.
And then there were 2 scandalous decisions by the referee."
Arsenal were beaten 1-3 in London by Brighton as they fielded a much-changed line-up for November's League Cup tie.
And now they will be more careful.
Furthermore, the Gunners have conceded 2 early exits in the FA Cup following their success in 2020.
They exited in the fourth round at Southampton the following year.
And they fell in the first round away to Nottingham Forest last season.
Squads and injured footballers
Lineup: McGinty; Anderson, Long, Moore, Brown; Bate, McGowan, Branagan; Wildshut, Taylor, Murphy
Injured: Joseph, Baldock, Brown
Lineup: Turner; Tomiyasu, Holding, Saliba, Tierney; Deer, Lokonga; Marquinhos, Odegaard, Vieira; Nketia
Injured: Jesus, Nelson
Matches between Oxford and Arsenal
|KA||04/01/03||Arsenal 2:0 Oxford|