By Matt Farr
Arsenal have been handed an away tie against Preston in the FA Cup third-round draw – and fans are delighted.
The 12-time FA Cup winners will face the Championship side at Deepdale in the first week of January.
Arsene Wenger, who is preparing for his side’s final Champions League group-stage game against Basel on Tuesday night, will be pleased with the outcome of the draw.
It will present him an opportunity to rest some of his key figures from their Premier League and European title campaigns, and allow his youngsters and fringe players to showcase their talents.
The possibility of being drawn against a Premier League rival was always a major possibility, but after seeing themselves tied with a lower-tier opposition, Arsenal fans had reason to be cheerful on social media.
Here are some of their messages on Twitter:
Preston v Arsenal #FACUP I’ll take that
— #DjiBreezePlz (@DjiBreeze_DTP) December 5, 2016
— Imran (@GunnersStunners) December 5, 2016
Yessss! Preston v Arsenal
— RedRaven (@WestEndUK) December 5, 2016
Preston v Arsenal! Nice
— Ikram (@GoonerGranit) December 5, 2016
— 5ThingsAboutFootball (@5ThingsFootball) December 5, 2016
Preston V Arsenal, yeah I will happily take that thanks.
— ALEXIS (@RyanStevenHanna) December 5, 2016
Still Preston Away. Happy with that.
— Mark Crosby (@the_cros) December 5, 2016
Arsenal have been in good form of late, and moved just three points behind league leaders Chelsea with their emphatic 5-1 victory over West Ham on Saturday.
They have only lost once in the league this season, when they lost 4-3 to title rivals Liverpool on the opening day of the season. A particular highlight for the Gunners was their 3-0 victory over Chelsea on September 24.
Preston, meanwhile, lie 14th in the Championship, and have won just one of their last five league games.
The home draw will give them confidence to cause an upset, particularly after seeing Southampton overturn a second-string Arsenal side in the EFL cup in November.
In other Arsenal news, Arsene Wenger is in talks with this attacking duo over their long-term futures at the club.