Can Sutton follow fellow non-league outfit Lincoln through to the FA Cup quarter finals? The Imps stunned Premier League side Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday to become the first non-league side to make it through to the quarter finals of the famous old competition for a century. For them to be joined there by Sutton as well would be truly a remarkable occasion, but the U’s have a mightily tough game on their hands as they welcome Premier League giants Arsenal to the Borough Stadium.
Sutton are obviously heavy underdogs for this one and the National League are in the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time. This will be their seventh game in the competition this season and they have conceded an average of one goal per game so far in their great run. But since knocking out Championship side Leeds in the last round, the U’s have fallen out of form, failing to win any of their four matches since that big moment. Even though they have only lost one home game in the last five months, they are expected to fall against Arsenal.
The Gunners won’t have any concerns about the 3G pitch at all and in fact it may help their game in knocking the ball around and dominating possession. The Gunners are a great, reliable FA Cup side and they are in the fifth round for the seventh season running. The gunners have won 17 of their last 19 FA Cup matches (D1 L1) and really don’t look to be in much danger of slipping up on this banana skin at all. Since Arsene Wenger joined the club 21 years ago as manager, Arsenal have lost only one game against a non-Premier league side in the competition.
The Gunners have not lost an away game in the FA Cup since back in 2012 either and with the amount of talent that they call on like Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez, the visitors are likely to coast in this one. Arsenal’s one game against a non-league side during Wenger’s reign saw them beat Conference side Farnborough 5-1 back in 2003. The power and style that Arsenal have, even though they have suffered some setbacks recently, meant that they aren’t likely to be stopped by Sutton.
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