Mikel Arteta remembers what it’s like to play at Fratton Park, and he’s expecting it to be a tough place for Arsenal’s FA Cup team to go.
One positive of a head coach who used to play in the Premier League is there aren’t many surprises when it comes to Arsenal’s domestic opponents.
Although Arteta never played against Portsmouth with Arsenal, he made a couple of trips to Fratton Park with Everton, playing out a 1-0 win and a 0-0 draw. The 37-year-old says he remembers his matches there and knows it isn’t an easy place to go.
“I played at Fratton Park ten years ago and still have memories of matches there,” Arteta said (via The S*n). “It is going to be a very tough place for us to get a result.”
In general, Arsenal have an excellent record against Portsmouth. The Gunners haven’t lost against their FA Cup opponents since 1958, winning 13 of their 21 match-ups since then. Still, of the eight remaining draws, six were at Fratton Park.
The u21s did lose to Portsmouth’s first team in late 2018, though only 2-1, after a late winner for the hosts. Bukayo Saka scored a spectacular goal that day, his first against senior opposition. He’ll hope to go one better and win this time around.
Arsenal relied on younger goalscorers to get them through the last couple of FA Cup rounds, with Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and Saka scoring against Leeds United and Bournemouth. Perhaps they could be the key again on Monday night.