LEEDS United will be out to steal the headlines from Thierry Henry’s second debut as an Arsenal player tonight when the sides meet at the Emirates Stadium in the FA Cup third round (kick-off 7.45pm).
All eyes will be on Henry, the Gunners’ leading all-time goalscorer who’s penned a two-month loan deal with the club from MLS side New York Red Bulls, but Leeds came minutes from beating the Premier League club at the same stage last season and will look to go one better this term.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed the French striker will play some part in the third round clash and United’s defence will need to be at the top of their game if they’re to stand a chance of causing the shock of the round.
On-song Robin van Persie will be absent from the Arsenal squad but Wenger is set to play an otherwise strong team to avoid an unwanted repeat of last season’s replay.
Robert Snodgrass looked to have given Leeds victory in London in last season’s third round tie before Cesc Fabregas rescued the Gunners with a stoppage-time penalty.
Arsenal then out-classed Leeds in the replay at Elland Road, running out 3-1 winners to progress to the next round.
Tonight’s match will have extra significance for United winger Andros Townsend, on-loan at Elland Road from Tottenham Hotspur - Arsenal’s bitter rivals.
The draw for the fourth round took place yesterday and the winner of tonight’s match will host Aston Villa. The match will take place on the weekend of January 28 and 29.
See this week’s Wakefield Express Sport for all the latest football news.