Arsenal fan gives his views ahead of FA Cup clash with Leeds ryanlufc January 7, 2011 Leeds United 15 Comments Thanks to Andrew Weber from arsenalfcblog.com and football travel & culture site footballnomad.com for taking part. Divided loyalties for Watt? Ryan – Its been nearly 7 years since we last met, and Saturday will be our first ever visit to the Emirates. Were you pleased when you saw Leeds’ name pulled out of the hat to play Arsenal? Andrew – Pleased would be the wrong word. Content, maybe. I suppose the thing about Leeds is that although they’re not the same team they once were the name still brings about a slightly more fearful response than other clubs at their level. In saying that, as a Premier League club chasing for the title we should win the tie. Ryan – Surely The Gunners will fancy their chances in the FA Cup this year, what kind of team do you think Arsene Wenger will put out on Saturday? Andrew – He has said that he will change the team significantly, so you’re going to see lads like Szczesny, Eboue, Gibbs and Denilson rather than the first-teamers. We have a Carling Cup semi-final in midweek too and after the stressful Christmas/New Year program rotation is a necessity. In saying that, I believe we have arguably the strongest squad in the Premier League — in terms of depth when everybody is fit — and the team we start with will be quality. Ryan – We’ll be bringing 8,500 fans from all over the world and we’ve had some classic games between us over the years. Have you missed us from The Premiership? Andrew – Yes. Being Australian I have fond memories of Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka running amok and for a long time they were everyone in Australia’s second team. Ryan – Having not been born for the ’72 FA Cup final, the encounter between us that sticks with me the most is our 3-2 win at Highbury to keep us up. What’s your best memory of games between us? Andrew – We don’t have the simmering rivalry with you of Manchester United, but Jimmy Floyd ended our title charge one season and Kewell scored a belter to beat us 3-2 another title tilt a few seasons later. On the positive side there was a fantastic 4-1 victory we achieved at Elland Road during The Invincibles season that really summed that Arsenal team up — we were absolutely devastating on the counter and scored some brilliant goals. Ryan – We all know who your dangermen are, but are there are any exciting youngsters who might get a chance on Saturday that we should be looking out for? Andrew – Szczesny is the obvious one. He is a goalkeeper that many believe should be first-choice and despite being only 20, he exudes a charisma in the box that only the best possess. We’re all looking forward to seeing Gibbs play too, he’s a player that has the potential to overtake Gael Clichy if he can put a run of games together and avoid injury. Further forward Henri Lansbury might get a run, although I think that’s unlikely. Ryan – Obviously its our first ever trip to the Emirates, what have you made of the stadium since you moved from Highbury? Andrew – I think it gets rightly criticised for a lack of atmosphere but in fairness, when you move to a new stadium, it takes some time to establish the culture. Some fans I spoke to in Munich said the same thing about Bayern moving from the Olympiastadion to the Allianz Arena. It’s a beautiful surface, obviously, and the minute we win a trophy it will feel more like home. Ryan – Are there any players in the current Leeds squad that you think could do a job for Arsenal? Andrew – Would it be cheating to say Sanchez Watt? Hah. But seriously, that is a really tough question because I’ve not seen Leeds play at all this season. I’ve read that you guys like to play an all-out attacking game and I think that’s good for a team fighting for promotion — just look at the impact Blackpool and West Brom have made — but in terms of individual players I can’t really comment. Ryan – Where do you expect to finish in the league this season and where do you think Leeds will finish? Andrew – I’m not the expecting type but I feel, with the squad we have and the mental hurdle of beating another big team achieved against Chelsea a fortnight ago, we have the goods to win the league. United have opened up a healthy lead but the truth is that they’re not playing particularly well and have a tougher run-in than we have. For the first time in however long our injury list is favourable and I believe that will pay dividends as the season rolls on. As for Leeds, again it’s hard to say, but promotion surely needs to be the goal. Ryan – Finally, what’s your prediction for the game? I would love a replay at Elland Road but can see us getting beat 2-1. Andrew – Somehow we’ve kept two clean sheets in a row after 9 games without doing so — but I always expect us to concede. Going forward we should be too strong though but a 3-1 or even a 4-2 wouldn’t surprise me, given the type of game you guys like to play. A lot will come down to whether you have the balls to try it on at The Emirates, or whether you sink back into your shells in the same way as our most recent opponent.