The two most successful FA Cup teams in history face one another for a spot at Wembley in the semi-final. They’ve played one another a joint-high 18 times in the prestigious FA Cup competition and have won the trophy 11 times apiece. Manchester United v Arsenal promises to be a big clash.
The winner of Monday’s affair will surely fancy themselves to lift the Cup once more this May.
Here’s five reasons why it could be Arsenal:
1. Arsenal’s Cup momentum
Arsenal have beaten the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Everton, Hull City (twice) and Brighton throughout their FA Cup streak over the past two seasons. This team knows how to grind out wins in the competition and Man United are set to be the next notch in this sides belt.
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2. Arsenal are out to even the score
The Gunners and the Red Devils have been drawn together 13 times in the Cup with Arsenal winning six (including one on a penalty shootout) and United seven. A win for the Gunners will square that record up.
However United have had an incredible overall record against the Gunners and have won 11 and lost just one of their last 15 matches against Arsenal in all competitions. Time for the Gunners to start to turn that statistic around.
3. The Post-Fergie era
Arsene Wenger’s men have lost twice against United in the post-Fergie era, and lost their only meeting to date at Old Trafford. But United are not the force they used to be and have been incredibly terrible at times under LVG.
4. Arsenal’s Cup striker
Wayne Rooney’s stats may be impressive (seven goals (including penalties won by standard Rooney dives) in eight games) but Arsenal have a more honest and hot (in every sense of the word) striker in Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman has scored seven and assisted four goals in his 11 FA Cup appearances. Sizzling.
5. We win this, win the Cup…?
History suggests should Arsenal overcome United either in this match or a potential replay, they will go on to win the competition. The last two times Arsenal have defeated United in the FA Cup they won the tournament (in 2003 and 2005).
With all that said, I’d take a draw and fancy us at Emirates. But with our fixture list fairly congested wouldn’t it be nice to book a place at Wembley at the expense of United? Yes. Yes it would.