Chris Hughton was appointed Brighton boss at the end of last month and had seen his side win 3 of their 4 games since taking over. That run has seen them climb out of the Championship relegation zone, but he's set for his hardest test yet as the Gunners come to town. Arsenal have won 10 of their last 13 games in all competitions and they shouldn't have any problems extending that run here. The Gunners' magnificent 0-2 win at Man City last weekend moved the north London club up to 5th in the Premier League table, just one point behind Man United in 4th and 8 points behind last season's champions. Arsenal last played a football match 7 days ago, and they don't play again after the trip to Brighton for another 7 days - a home game against goal-shy Aston Villa - so there's absolutely no reason for Wenger to risk a cup upset by fielding a weakened side.
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Brighton will see staying in the division as their main objective for the season but will not want a decisive defeat to effect confidence.
Despite Champions League qualification being a priority, the Cup is still an important competition for the Arsenal manager and club. And only George Ramsay (6) has won the FA Cup as a manager more times than Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal have drawn Brighton 4 times in the FA Cup winning all 4 matches. The Gunners have scored at least 2 goals in 6 of their last 7 games in FA Cup, but they have conceded exactly 2 in 5 of their last 6 away from home (including games at Wembley). The Seagulls have scored in 5 of their last 6 league and cup games and put 3 past in-form Ipswich on Wednesday night.
Giroud has scored 5 goals in his last 7 FA Cup games and he also has 4 in his last 5 Arsenal appearances.
Posted on 24 Jan 2015, 12:25 GMT