Blackpool vs Arsenal Preview: Emery faces his first FA Cup challenge against the Seasiders 
Bukayo Saka is expected to feature for Arsenal. | Source: Rob Newell - Camera Sport

Blackpool vs Arsenal Preview: Emery faces his first FA Cup challenge against the Seasiders 

Arsenal begin their FA Cup run with a trip to Blackpool on Saturday evening. 

Rosie Tudball

The FA Cup is back this weekend as Arsenal face a trip to Blackpool on Saturday evening in the third round. 

The prestigious competition has been a favoured one for the Gunners in the past, with them being the record holders for the most outright wins with 13 FA Cup titles.  

Arsenal will be hoping to continue their success in the competition in what will be Unai Emery’s first outing in the cup with a trip to League One outfit Blackpool.  

Blackpool are without a win in the league since their 2-1 victory over Charlton back in early December, despite this, Terry McPhillips’ side sit at 10th in League One.  

Head to Head

Despite there being a considerable gap between the two sides, Arsenal were considered lucky in their last meeting with the Seasiders when the two met back in October in a Carabao Cup fixture that ended 2-1 to the Gunners in North London.  

Saturday’s meeting hosts the reverse fixture, as Blackpool welcome the Gunners to Bloomfield Road in what will be the fourth FA Cup tie between the oranges and the reds.  

The visitors are unbeaten in their previous nine fixtures against Blackpool, winning the previous five consecutive games against Saturday’s opposition.  

Emery and McPhillips look forward to challenge

Emery was quizzed about the FA Cup ahead of his first taste of the competition that is often branded as magical.  

Arsenal have won the competition more than anyone else. It’s a possibility for us to do something important. It will be very difficult but we’re excited for this competition and are looking forward to starting on Saturday.” 

The opposition camp also spoke prior to the fixture, as McPhillips' admitted that Arsenal’s visit will be difficult.  

Whatever team Arsenal decide to play, it’s going to be a really tough day at the office for us. It’s the FA Cup and it doesn’t always go to plan, something the underdog can come through. We’ll be giving it our best shot.” 

Team News

Emery has had an extensive list of injuries to deal with so far this season, midfielder Mesut Özil is expected to miss the fixture with a knee injury. In defence, Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal will be absent, as they continue their recovery from muscular injuries.  

Blackpool are also without their defensive duo, as Ollie Turton and Curtis Tilt miss out with an injury. In midfield, Jordan Thompson will not feature due to suspension.