Blackpool v Arsenal – Will youngsters take chance to shine?

Arsenal are set to ring the changes for their FA Cup tie against Blackpool this afternoon, with a number of youngsters expected to start the match.

Our club is used to blooding youth products in cup competitions such as the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League over the years, and taking on League One’s Blackpool will not deter that philosophy.

The likes of Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock, Emile Smith-Rowe and Eddie Nketiah are all in contention to start the match, while I would expect each of those named to all feature at some point.

The hosts come into the match with only one point from their last five League One outings, with a FA Cup second round win over non-league Solihull Rovers needing extra time for victory amidst that terrible form.

Our side do not come into the match in glowing form either however, with only two wins from our last five outings, but the gulf in class will surely show today.

Nacho Monreal, Hector Bellerin and Mesut Ozil are expected to be assessed ahead of today’s match, although I do not expect them to risked to start the match, but could well pick up minutes from the bench.

Predicted XI:

Maitland-Niles Elneny Sokratis Kolasinac
Guendouzi Smith-Rowe
Saka Willock Nketiah

I personally think Emery will opt to play one or two experienced players in the line-up in each position, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nketiah benched in favour of Iwobi at the start of the match, or one of Willock or Smith-Rowe starting on the bench in favour of a more experienced man also.

This team should have more than enough in it to beat our lower league rivals, and the team should also have enough to play free and creative football along the way.

I’m going for a 3-1 win for our boys, although there could easily be more against our struggling rivals. I’m also tipping Saka to be the one to watch today, hoping he can make his mark on his fourth first team outing.

Do you think Emery will start his first ever FA Cup tie with more first team players? Which youngster will you be looking most keenly at to impress?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Blackpool Saka


  1. Think your lineup could be quite accurate. The younsters appear hungry, and I would pick ESR to have a top performance. There is a real opportunity to show that he can take a rotation spot when Ramsey leaves.

    Anyone heard anything about young LB Joe Lopez? The younster we got from Barca academy? Haven’t heard too much about our young fullbacks, was just wondering.

    Lastly, love to see Mavroporas get a chance, he seems healthy, and this is perfect opportunity to throw him in the mix. Maybe a Kos and Mavroporas combo in the back?

  2. Would love to see Kolasinac, ESR, Saka & Laca
    Don’t want to see that green kit or Lichtsteiner!!!

    Come on Arsenal.. please don’t screw this up!!

    1. Oh Darling Sue, you’re gonna be seeing one between that bad luck kit and Litchsteiner???Brace yourself, you night even see both

  3. I quote Troy Feeney.

    “Look at how many transfer windows they are behind the big boys.
    “They are probably six, seven or eight behind the big boys.
    “That is just being realistic.
    “I know people are saying it is a massive cut-price but that’s only on what they had last year.
    “But they are still behind the likes of Man City and Man Utd, not just in spending but in the quality they have brought in.”

    Well I won’t act pissed or slam him, every sane person knows it’s the truth even though it’s so much bitter when it comes from Deeney

      1. He realized he didn’t have himself after we beat him and his team and knows he will talking about himself if he mention cojones.

    1. Deeney seems to have an insatiable appetite to denigrate AFC whenever the opportunity arises
      but it’s difficult to discount his comments when
      considering the following business Arsenal has
      conducted in said windows.


      El Neny—Never seriously threatened the first
      team selection, never will

      Xhaka—- paid an astronomical fee for an
      average player when the worlds best DM Kante badly desired a switch to the Emirates (for less money)

      Mustafi—another astronomical fee for another
      bang average player that has gravely disappointed in his time at North London. A laundry list of
      better defenders were purchased( Baily, Umtiti, MaGuire, Alderweld, Diop, etc.) during the time
      the German has languished at AFC.

      Perez—a January panic buy that was never
      given a serious chance to feature consistently
      in the first team then subsequently loaned out
      and sold for a considerable loss. WTF?

      Nearly £100M worth of disappointments.

      Transfer fees lost

      Sanchez—£50-£60M. The Miki trade has turned
      out to be an expected disaster with the aging Armenian having little impact at the club while earning a riduculous weekly wage. The moment
      the Chilean decided to refuse big money to stay
      in London Gadzidis and Wenger should of
      shipped him off to Oil City. Complete

      Ramsey—£30-40M. A decision should of been
      cemented early in the summer about the Welshmans future. The soap opera saga that
      ensued has cost Arsenal millions.

      Welbeck—£15M Prior to his mist recent injury
      Danny Boy was having a pretty solid season and
      quite possibly working his way towards a new
      contract from the Gunners boss. That decision
      however should of been made in the summer
      and following his horrific ankle injury DW will be
      yet another Arsenal player to leave free of
      charge this summer.

      Another £100M wasted by gross incompetence
      and mismanagement from Gadzidis and

      I dont have the temperament to disclose the
      sheer absurdity of paying a certain player
      over £300K a week to feature primarily at home
      against the weakest sides the Premier League
      has to offer. ??

      Yes hindsight is 20/20 but if Sven, Raul and
      Emery had an extra £200M laying around at
      the Emirates I would bet the FREAKING FARM
      that Arsenal would be seriously challenging for
      the EPL title and Champions League futbol next year.

  4. Anybody got contact with Emery they should sign the new Messi the January….My goodness…..Wow!


  5. I really really really really hate that third kit. It was the rubbish we were wearing when we drew at Crystal palace (end of I2 games winning run) and lost at Southampton (22 games unbeaten end) and Liverpool (End of the year pounding). Coincidence, I think not. Bad luck kit I tell you.

    1. Apparently, from reports Juventus are trying to use Benatia to convince us to allow Ramsey to leave this January.They prebiously proposed a Khedira / Ramsey swap but we want Benatia and they want to sell him in the summer.

      1. Yea Ramsey one is strange because sky keep saying they want him now but why would he go now and lose millions ?
        I would rather he went now but I don’t want another cast off which will come on high wages and then we are stuck with the next amount of years .
        Also he’s in todays squad so I would imagine if he was going that he wouldn’t be playing at all

        1. But Juve want him now too and we want Benatia despite their Khedira swap offer.But I agreed with your point why should Ramsey move now.I thought the Ramsey deal was done though so I it never occurred to me terms could change at this moments because I believe he’ll still be paid the same salary due to the fact that viewed from Arsenal and Juve’s perspective it’s more or less a soon to be free player in a way being swapped.

    2. It appears Arsenal prefer a loan deal with option
      to buy in the summer if Suarez impresses while
      at the Emirates. Be interesting to see if Chelsea,
      Roma or some other interested club meets
      Barca’s evaluation in January.

    1. yeah, iwobi, that guy who already has five assists compared to Ozil’s one. Listen, he’s one of our best wide options at the moment, so really what do you expect?

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