This battle is actually one of five matchups between Premier League opponents in the third-round of the tournament. It is clear the luck of the draw was not kind to many sides looking to make a deep run.
Arsenal will hope this tournament can help bring the club its first trophy in almost a decade, although the current table leaders also have high hopes for a league title. Meanwhile, Tottenham have plenty of momentum with 10 points in their last four EPL matches.
Either side is capable of coming away with a key victory that could launch the club to more success as this competitive tournament.
When: Saturday, Jan. 4 at 12:15 p.m. ET/5:15 p.m. GMT
Where: Emirates Stadium, London
Watch: Fox/ITV (UK)
Live Stream: Fox Soccer 2 Go
Odds (via SkyBet): Arsenal (19-20), Tottenham (14-5), Draw (5-2)
Top Storyline: Who Will Play for Arsenal?
In many seasons, these earlier rounds of the FA Cup give big clubs a chance to rest top players for the bigger matches later on. With a tough matchup right away, there might not be any later games.
Tottenham are coming off an impressive win over Manchester United, but they have seven days before competing again in a match against Crystal Palace. This means they will be able to play many first-team members.
On the other hand, Arsenal have to deal with a roster that is already light. The club's Twitter account announced a few players who will be out for the upcoming clash:
Still, manager Arsenal Wenger explained that the club would still use its best players, according to John Cross of Mirror Football:
Either way, the squad is left with few options up front. Lukas Podolski might be asked to play a larger role, as well as possibly Yaya Sanogo. Theo Walcott could also be used in a more central position instead of out wide.
These issues are certain to limit Arsenal's ability to score in this match.
Prediction: Tottenham 2, Arsenal 1
Arsenal care about winning the FA Cup, but they know they are in a serious fight for the league title, currently sitting just one point clear of Manchester City and two of Chelsea. They will not risk the health of top players for this one match if they are not fit.
With the injuries being an issue, it will limit the squad's ability to compete against a quality opponent.
Tottenham can then continue their recent strong play to earn another tough win on the road against a top opponent.
Spurs went through a stretch where they were not scoring much at all, but that appears to be behind them as they have moved the ball well and finished off opportunities.
Although this will be an incredibly close battle throughout, Tottenham will score a late goal to come away with a narrow win.
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