Arsenal welcome Sunderland to the Emirates this afternoon as they begin the defence of their FA Cup and look to secure a third consecutive trophy win.
No team has won three back-to-back FA Cups since Blackburn in 1886, the year the Gunners were founded and an era when football was significantly different to say the least. That season, Blackburn needed a replay to defeat West Brom in front of 12,000 fans at Derby’s Racecourse Ground.
Arsene Wenger will also be hoping that he can pick up his seventh FA Cup win, a haul that is unrivalled in modern football.
“Three times [in a row] would be great”, Wenger told reporters at his press conference, “but one of the most difficult rounds is the third round. Once you are in the competition, the players get slowly in it. But the first game is always a bit difficult to get in there.”
Here are the teams that will go head-to-head in North London in the third round:
Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Gabriel, Kos, Gibbs, Ox, Chambers, Iwobi, Walcott, Campbell, Giroud
Subs: Macey, Debuchy, Arteta, Ramsey, Monreal, Jeff, Willock
Sunderland: Pickford, van Aanholt, Cattermole, O’Shea (c), Lens, Graham, Toivonen, Coates, Fletcher, Yedlin, Watmore.
Subs: Mannone, Jones, Borini, Defoe, M’Vila, Mavrias, Beadling.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 9, 2016
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) January 9, 2016