3 Arsenal players that should start FA Cup tie vs Liverpool

  • Arsenal take on Liverpool in the FA Cup third round on Sunday
  • Mikel Arteta set to name strong starting XI
  • Premier League winter break follows cup tie

Aaron Ramsdale has played second fiddle to David Raya
Aaron Ramsdale has played second fiddle to David Raya / Clive Rose/GettyImages

Arsenal's 2023 ended on a bleak note, but the Gunners have a chance to catch a big fish at the start of the new year when they host Liverpool in the FA Cup third round.

The Gunners are the most successful team in the competition's history, and it was Mikel Arteta who guided the club to their 14th triumph at the end of his debut season in 2020.

However, Arsenal have since failed to progress beyond the fourth round.

Their recent woes in the FA Cup combined with their concerning form heading into Sunday's bout has many clamouring for a full-strength starting lineup.. While I believe Arteta should absolutely go strong for this cup tie, there are three players I'd like to see included in the team.

3 Arsenal players that should start FA Cup tie vs Liverpool

1. Aaron Ramsdale

Aaron Ramsdale
Ramsdale should be Arsenal's FA Cup keeper / BSR Agency/GettyImages

David Raya has been pretty reliable since his disaster at Kenilworth Road, although he's yet to convince me that he's a distinct upgrade over Ramsdale.

Yes, he's aggressive in the air and slick in possession, but he simply doesn't save enough shots. He's not a goalkeeper - like Alisson is - capable of bailing his side out, and thus I'm unconvinced that Arsenal can win a Premier League title with Raya between the sticks.

I don't think Ramsdale should regain his status as club's number one, but he should start on Sunday. The Englishman has barely featured this term, struggling for the most part, but the Englishman doesn't deserve to be sidelined completely for the remainder of the season. He should be Arsenal's FA Cup keeper.

2. Cedric Soares

Cedric Soares
Cedric could be on his way out of the club soon / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Hear me out.

I don't particularly want to see Cedric in action, but his utilisation might be sensible given White's recent drop-off. The Englishman hasn't played with any conviction for quite some time - since the dramatic Luton win - and reports suggest the full-back has been playing with an injury.

Reuell Walters is another option for the boss, but Arteta is yet to show much faith in Arsenal's academy stars. So, with Jurrien Timber and Takehiro Tomiyasu both absent, the boss might have to turn to Cedric if White isn't fully fit.

The veteran defender has been linked with a move away this month and this may well be his last appearance for the club. Cedric nonetheless produced a fine performance on his sole start this term away at PSV.

3. Reiss Nelson

Reiss Nelson
Nelson has featured sparingly once again / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

There are murmurs that Arsenal will listen to offers for Nelson this winter, with the winger struggling for minutes yet again this season.

Arteta's unrelenting faith in Bukayo Saka means the club's starboy is almost impossible to usurp, but the winger's form hasn't been stellar despite his production.

Nelson is not going to be relied upon in the Premier League and Champions League, but he's often impressed during his cameo appearances over the past two years. The Hale End star was Arsenal's best performer on his first UCL start against PSV, and with Saka also understood to be playing through a knock, Nelson deserves a shot at impressing against one of the Premier League's best this weekend.