Fixture: Arsenal vs. Blackburn
When: Saturday, 10 a.m. ET
Arsenal and Blackburn combined for 15 goals in their two Premier League matches last season. Another goal-fest is possible, of course, but don't expect it to happen. Here are a couple reasons.
Firstly, this is a knockout match at Arsenal, which means second-tier Blackburn will most likely take a defensive approach. Expect Rovers to make defending a priority, either hoping to pick off Arsenal on the counter or draw the match and play the return leg at Ewood Park.
Secondly, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger probably will not select a full-strength squad. The Gunners have a UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match against Bayern Munich at home on Tuesday, and besides, he has a few injury concerns, mostly in defense.
Left-back Kieran Gibbs is injured. Central defender Laurent Koscielny was a late scratch at Sunderland with a calf issue. Central defender Thomas Vermaelen is reportedly receiving injections for an ankle problem (via The Independent).
Between resting his squad for Bayern and dealing with injuries, Wenger could have more than a few selection headaches. History, however, favors the Gunners.
Arsenal have not lost in their last 34 FA Cup matches against lower-tier opposition, and they're also unbeaten in 34 FA Cup home matches (via Yahoo! Eurosport).
Look for this one to be tight, but expect Arsenal to pull out a result.