Thanks to Vivek Arulnathan from Welcome To The Gunner’s Town for taking part.

It’s just like 2011 all over again, what was your reaction when you saw that Leeds would be coming to The Emirates in The FA Cup once again?

Teams from the lower leagues are really dangerous especially in these early stages of the competition and I was hoping we could draw one of the teams fighting for relegation in the Premier League. But given the current spate of injuries in the Leeds squad, I am pleased with the draw as it will give Wenger the option to rest some of his key players after the hectic schedule in December.

Do you think The FA Cup is a big priority for Arsenal this year?

If it wasn’t for our horrible form early on, Wenger would have certainly seen the FA Cup as an achievable target. But due to that poor start, Arsenal are completely focused on the league as they chase that crucial fourth spot. So Arsenal will not sweat too much over the FA Cup, for this season at least. This is evident from how Van Persie was left out of the squad even against Manchester City in the League Cup. Champions League action next year is crucial for this club to go forward and I am sure Wenger feels the same as well.

Thierry Henry is available to make his return on Monday night, what do you make of him coming back to Arsenal?

Being a club legend, he is always welcome at the club. Henry is without question Arsenal’s greatest player and his return will be an emotional rollercoaster for both him and the fans as well. I don’t see him making a huge difference on the field as his old legs have lost the turn of pace that helped him in terrorizing defenses in his first spell. His presence on the training field will make a big impact though. His work ethic and training will benefit someone like Walcott who idolizes the Frenchman. But most importantly, Henry’s presence will help the squad realize the pride in wearing the red and white of Arsenal.

Do you think he will feature on Monday? Who else should we be looking out for in your team, are you expecting a strong line-up?

Henry will surely play but Wenger hasn’t disclosed whether he’ll start or come off the bench. With Chamakh staying back for a few more days, I expect him to start along with Arshavin and Alex Chamberlain in a three pronged attack. Defensively, Arsenal have limited options due to the spate of injuries so I expect either Koscielny or Mertesacker to partner Squillaci in the centre with Coquelin and Miquel on the flanks. In the middle of the park, Rosicky and Benayoun will certainly start. Park and Henry could start as a deep lying forward if Wenger decides to play a 4-4-2 but that is highly unlikely.

Are there any current Leeds players who you would take at Arsenal?

I am not sure about that but if there are youngsters like Alex Chamberlain in your academy, I’ll assure you that some of Wenger’s scouts will be lurking around the corner!

Finally, what’s your prediction for the game?

I don’t see Leeds going down too easily despite all the injuries. These games bring the best out of them and Arsenal shouldn’t expect an easy win. But with a strong defense set to be fielded by Wenger, Leeds will find it tough to score especially if Koscielny plays. And with Benayoun in midfield pulling the strings, I feel this will be a 1-0 or 2-0 to Arsenal.

  • TSS

    Should be a goal fest for Arsenal considering our injury problems and lack of depth. I’d expect their U15’s to beat us convincingly at this moment in time.