FA Cup preview: Arsenal v Leeds United

Premier League giants Arsenal host Leeds United at the Emirates in the showpiece fixture of Saturday’s FA Cup third round action.Arsenal v Leeds United

Championship club Leeds, desperately fighting to make their way back into the top flight, endured a torrid run throughout December and took just three of a possible 12 points to fall two points adrift of the promotion places.

Their struggle mirrors that of Arsenal, who have fallen four points behind Manchester United in the English Premier League after a 0-0 draw with Manchester City on Wednesday.

Leeds enjoyed a famous 1-0 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford in last season’s FA Cup third round, but the then-League One side went on to put their promotion in jeopardy with one win from eight games.

Asked if history can repeat itself this year with another shock victory, former Leeds striker and now board director Peter Lorimer says he would prefer to see the Whites back in the Premier League.

“Promotion is a priority this season,” Lorimer told ITV.com.

“We’ve come a long way in the last two to three years and it would be great if we could consolidate rather than have another draining cup run, as we have a realistic chance of getting out of this league.”

“We don’t really have a chance (against Arsenal). As we showed last year at Old Trafford we can hold our own, but realistically you have to say Arsenal are big favourites.”

“As long as we don’t get battered we’ll be more than pleased.”

Argentinean striker Luciano Becchio has been in terrific form for Leeds with 12 goals from 25 appearances and will look to impress against the Gunners, while on-loan attacker Sanchez Watt has been cleared to play against his parent club.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has also flagged the possibility of giving 21-year-old England international Kieran Gibbs a run against Leeds.

The left-back has not played since injuring his ankle against Partizan Belgrade in early December.

Elsewhere, Birmingham City, Wolverhampton, Blackburn, Everton and Fulham head into the third round full of confidence after morale-boosting league wins in mid-week.

Birmingham travel to Millwall after escaping the relegation zone with a last-gasp 2-1 win at Blackpool, and Wolves carry their shock 1-0 victory over Chelsea into a clash at Doncaster Rovers.

Blackburn host Championship leaders Queens Park Rangers just days after stunning Liverpool 3-1, Everton visit Scunthorpe United following a 2-1 result over Tottenham and Fulham host League One outfit Peterborough United after routing West Bromwich Albion 3-0.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew takes his squad to League Two side Stevenage after the Magpies thumped West Ham United 5-0, leaving Hammers boss Avram Grant to hope for some relief with a positive result against Barnsley.

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