Albion to entertain FA Cup specialists Arsenal in front of record Amex crowd

Albion take on Arsenal in front of a record crowd at the Amex
Albion take on Arsenal in front of a record crowd at the Amex

Ex-Tottenham Hotspur right-back Chris Hughton will be relishing the visit of his former foes.

Ex-Tottenham Hotspur right-back Chris Hughton will be relishing the visit of his former foes Arsenal to the Amex for Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round encounter.

At the same stage in the competition two years ago, Olivier Giroud was the difference as the Frenchmen netted an exquisite brace - either side of a point-blank Ashley Barnes header - before debutant Leo Ulloa dived to nod home an equaliser. Substitute Theo Walcott - somewhat fortuitously via a deflection off Adam El- Abd’s shoulder - won the contest in the final few minutes.

Arsene Wenger’s men are the current holders and their illustrious FA Cup pedigree began in 1927 with a 1-0 defeat to Cardiff City (the only non- English victors to date). Three years later, pioneering manager Herbert Chapman led his men to a 2-0 triumph over former club Huddersfield Town. Arsenal have lifted the famous old trophy 11 times in total, a record they share with Manchester United.

Albion’s first senior meeting with the Gunners was also a FA Cup tie, in 1935. Such was their pulling power - they were heading for a third successive First Division title - many locals were put off by a potential Goldstone crush and the crowd for the 2-0 reverse was only just over 22,000.

It would be another 53 years before the London outfit would visit Hove again for a FA Cup tie. Unfortunately, Garry Nelson’s acrobatic scissor kick wasn’t enough to give Barry Lloyd’s third-tier outfit a famous victory.

Of course, Albion famously visited Highbury in 1983, but Arsenal were nowhere to be seen. Locking horns with Sheffield Wednesday for their first-ever FA Cup semi-final, a Wembley date with Manchester United was secured by Jimmy Case’s breathtaking free kick and Michael Robinson’s smart finish.

The first league meeting between the clubs was the opening home game in Albion’s inaugural First Division season in 1979 – Arsenal were ruthless and ran out 4-0 winners. The next seven top-flight meetings between the two teams garnered no victories, or goals, for Alan Mullery’s men and after an 81- ear wait, Albion finally beat the north Londoners, 2-1 at home, in 1982. History repeated itself just a month into the next season.

Hughton’s men boast a hat-trick of recent victories over capital clubs but slipped up in an entertaining - if frustrating - game against Brentford last weekend.

Can Albion stop the on-fire Gunners?