Arsenal v Leeds: Thierry Henry available for comeback

FA Cup third round

Venue:
Emirates Stadium
Date:
Monday, 9 January
Kick-off:
1945 GMT
Coverage:
Live text commentary on BBC Sport website; live audio commentary on BBC Radio 5 live; live on ESPN
Thierry Henry
Henry scored 11 goals against Leeds during his first stint in England

Thierry Henry is poised to make his Arsenal return against Leeds in their FA Cup third-round tie at Emirates Stadium.

Henry, Arsenal's all-time leading scorer, has rejoined the London club on loan from New York Red Bulls.

Leeds manager Simon Grayson said: "[Henry] could make anything happen and that is a fantastic attribute that Arsene Wenger has for spotting players.

"The pace and chances he used to create, he has to be one of the best."

The Frenchman, 34, who has joined on a two-month loan, first played for Arsenal between 1999 and 2007.

And in the five seasons where Arsenal and Leeds were in the top flight, Henry scored 11 goals against the Yorkshire club, including four in a 5-0 rout in April 2004.

But Grayson admitted he does not expect Henry to be at the same level as he was during his first spell at the Gunners.

The Leeds boss added: "He has a different experience of playing in America but it is probably fitting that he comes back and has a couple of months with Arsenal.

"We don't expect him to be like he was but he will still be a considerable threat if he plays."

Wenger hopes his Arsenal side have learnt from last season when they face Leeds. The teams met at the same stage in 2011 - when the Gunners needed a replay to overcome the Championship side.

The Arsenal boss said: "We have the experience of last year when we couldn't beat them at home, so let's hope we can do it this year.

"We just lost a game in the league at Fulham which gave us a lot of regrets, so we want to respond quickly."

Although Robin van Persie will be missing for the Gunners, after being granted time off for a family holiday in Dubai, Wenger admitted he will otherwise name his strongest team.

"I will play a strong side, a normal side," he said. "Our target is to win the next game and the next game is the FA Cup."

Arsenal go into the game on the back of two disappointing results, first a 1-1 draw with Wolves before they were beaten 1-0 by Fulham.

Leeds on the other hand will be buoyed by their recent win over Burnley, when they came from a goal down to win 2-1 thanks to a winner seven minutes into injury time.

The win ended a run of three successive defeats and Grayson believes past experience will help them at the Emirates.

"We are not nervous when we go into these games because the players feel comfortable in the atmosphere that they are involved in over the course of the season by being a Leeds United player anyway," he said.

"It is a privilege to play for Leeds United and a privilege you have to be able to handle."

A Cesc Fabregas penalty in injury time earned the Gunners a 1-1 draw last season, before Arsenal won 3-1 at the second attempt in the replay.

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