Two big FA Cup matches are on deck today. The 11am ET/4pm GMT kickoff between Arsenal and Aston Villa is the one that most will be interested in, but the 8.30am ET/1:30pm GMT match between Sunderland and Middlesbrough shouldn’t be overlooked either. Plus, we have the draw for the fifth round of the FA Cup, which is scheduled for approximately 10:40am ET today.
In 10 previous FA Cup meetings Arsenal have beaten Villa six times, lost three times with one draw, while Sunderland lead the Wear-Tees derby tally 59-45. This should be a straightforward win for Arsenal, but based on their confidence lately, it’s possibly that Villa could cause an upset. Arsenal will want to win especially knowing that Manchester United and City are out of the FA Cup. Winning some silverware this season would be vital for Arsene Wenger and the Gunners fans.
Having said that, Wenger will know that McLeish was the manager that helped Birmingham City beat Arsenal last season in the Carling Cup Final. This one should be an intriguing encounter.
In the early match, Middlesbrough, fifth in the Championship and hunting promotion under Tony Mowbray, have only won one of their last five. Meanwhile for Sunderland, Connor Wickham makes a rare start up front for the Black Cats.
Before, during and after today’s FA Cup matches, post your rants, raves, questions and observations in the comments section below.