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FA Cup Preview: Arsenal v Tottenham

Two of the FA Cup’s most successful sides meet on Saturday when Arsenal host north London rivals Tottenham in the third round.

Manchester United have won the competition 11 times, more than any other team, but Arsenal are just one behind on 10 and Tottenham sit third on the all-time list with eight.

The last major trophy Arsene Wenger’s charges collected was the FA Cup in 2005, following a penalty shootout victory over Manchester United.

The Emirates Stadium outfit have been unable to add to their honours roll since then, but have maintained a consistent challenge for the Premier League title this season.

Arsenal occupy top spot in the table, with three straight victories giving them a total of 45 points after 20 matches.

The leaders’ latest triumph came in a 2-0 win over Cardiff City on New Year’s Day, courtesy of late goals from Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott.

England international Walcott believes a never-say-die attitude can help Arsenal end their trophy drought.

“If you want to win titles then you have got to go to the end and the thing about this team at the moment is that we never give up,” he said. “Every game that we win, the belief gets stronger and stronger.”

Tottenham are also in good form heading into the clash, with new head coach Tim Sherwood overseeing three wins and a draw in four Premier League matches at the helm.

A 2-1 victory at Manchester United on Wednesday was particularly impressive, and leaves the White Hart Lane club just two points adrift of the UEFA Champions League places.

Forward Emmanuel Adebayor has played a key role in Tottenham’s resurgence under Sherwood, including scoring the opener against United, but faces a battle to be fit to face his former side after being taken off on a stretcher against the reigning champions.

The two sides last met in the competition at Old Trafford in April 2001, with Arsenal winning 2-1 to reach the final.

Arsenal also triumphed over Tottenham at the last-four stage in 1993, before going on to complete an FA and League Cup double.

Thu 2 January, 2014
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