MATCHDAY: Arsenal looks to set up Man City meeting in FA Cup

A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Monday:


Premier League leader Arsenal begins its FA Cup campaign at third-tier Oxford United, knowing a victory sets up a fourth-round match at Manchester City. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta finished his first season in charge of the team by winning the FA Cup in 2021 before slumping to a surprise third-round defeat at Nottingham Forest, which was at that time in the second-tier Championship, last season. “It is a competition that is attached to the successful history of this club and on Monday we have a good test,” said Arteta, with Arsenal having won the competition a record 14 times. “It will be difficult and we have to take the competition very seriously, the opponent very seriously and play well, to a high level, to win the match.” Oxford is 15th in the 24-team League One. “We’re massive underdogs, a League One side playing the best team in the country,” said Oxford manager Karl Robinson. “But this is the FA Cup and we know that anything can happen.”


Athletic Bilbao looks to stay near the Champions League places when it hosts Osasuna in the Spanish league. A victory will keep the Basque Country team near the top of the standings after 16 matches. Osasuna, coming off two consecutive league losses going back to before the World Cup, isn’t too far back and can also start thinking about the Champions League qualification spots if it wins at San Mamés Stadium. Osasuna’s two recent league losses were against Barcelona and Real Sociedad, who are in the top three.


Atalanta will be looking to get back to winning ways when it visits Bologna in Serie A. Atalanta hasn’t won since October — a run of three defeats and Wednesday’s 2-2 draw at lowly Spezia, where it needed a late goal to rescue a point. That left Atalanta six points below fourth-placed Inter Milan and the final Champions League qualifying spot. Also, bottom club Hellas Verona hosts fellow struggler Cremonese, with just one point separating the two sides.


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