Arsenal v Leeds: Match Preview

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Arsenal v Leeds

FA Cup Third Round; Emirates Stadium; Monday, 9th January; 1945 KO.

Team News

Thierry Henry is available to make his long-awaited Arsenal return after completing his loan move on Friday - inside the deadline to feature tonight at the Emirates.

Gervinho is away on African Cup of Nations duty, whilst Robin Van Persie is expected to be rested. Johan Djourou is suspended, whilst Thomas Vermaelen, Bacary Sagna, Carl Jenkinson and Andre Santos are all injured.

For the visitors, Scottish international Robert Snodgrass and skipper Jonny Howson are both absent through injury. Patrick Kisnorbo is a long-term casualty, whilst Tom Lees and Alex Bruce are both doubtful.

Wenger predicts tough Whites task

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is predicting a tough challenge in tonight's FA Cup third round tie against Leeds at the Emirates Stadium.

Simon Grayson's side traveled to north London a year ago looking to cause an upset, and nearly succeeded as Robert Snodgrass' penalty was canceled out in the final minutes by Cesc Fabregas from the spot.

The replay was won with ease at Elland Road, but Wenger will be reminding his players of the threat a lower-league side can cause when they face more illustrious opposition.

"The replay was a good game where we turned up in a fantastic way. But in the first game we struggled and were a bit lucky. They basically still have the players they had last year with the same strengths - Snodgrass, Becchio," Wenger told the official Arsenal website.

"They have struggled a little bit recently but they had a good start in the Championship. At one stage they were second but they have dropped a little bit since then. However, having had the experience of last year, I am a bit cautious.

"It is a cup game against a potentially good side and we always need a team with 100 per cent focus in the Third Round of the FA Cup because there is no way to come back. The Championship has improved and these sides can make life difficult for anybody - we have seen that in the Carling Cup this season. I think we'll see that again in the FA Cup."

As for the visitors, manager Grayson is expecting to see former French international Thierry Henry on the pitch at some stage, and has some experience of his own against the Gunners' club-record goalscorer.

"I played against him a few times. I probably saw more of the No 14 on his back than the front of him."

FA Cup
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