Before every Arsenal fixture, we’ll bring you a Scouting Report on the Gunners’ next opponents.

Former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson will give his pre-match view and you can get his post-match verdict in our Talking Tactics feature on Arsenal Player.

Arsène Wenger and his side face Leeds in the FA Cup at Emirates Stadium on Monday so, to find out more, we also asked journalist Richard Sutcliffe for his thoughts and analysis.

Stewart Robson

"Leeds suffered a poor run of results over the Christmas period. However, having watched them against Derby County, they were slightly unfortunate to lose the game. Their game style combined direct football with good passing movements and they defended with desire and organisation. However, they lacked a cutting edge in attacking areas and they looked short on confidence. They do not have many players still playing regularly at present who played in this fixture last year. Of those who did, Becchio has been inconsistent and Snodgrass has had an appendix operation. If he had been fit, Howson would have been a key player in midfield but I expect Connolly to start at right back. Arsenal fans will remember O`Dea playing well for Ipswich in last season’s Carling Cup semi-final.

Scouting Report - Tactics

“It’s been a strange season. Leeds finished seventh last year, which possibly could be seen as a bit of an over-achievement, but this time around I expected them to push on. They’ve had a good stint in the top six but obviously dropped out over Christmas with three straight defeats. They did win on Monday against Burnley - which was quite fortunate after an own goal and a 96th-minute winner - but they needed that badly.

“Simon Grayson has had the odd injury to deal with. The shame is that their best player, Robert Snodgrass, is out as he had appendicitis over Christmas and will be out for between a fortnight and a month. Sam Howson, the captain, has a knee injury and could be out until March; if you take those two out of the midfield it looks pretty threadbare.

“As a rule Grayson has tried to keep a settled side, but they’re down to the bare bones, certainly at centre half for Monday’s game. They’re struggling to get bodies out there at the moment, and with Thierry Henry maybe coming back, it isn’t exactly great for Leeds.

“Patrick Kisnorbo was stretchered off on Monday and he won’t be there for the Arsenal game, Alex Bruce did his hamstring and won’t play and Leigh Bromby is out for three weeks, while Andy O’Brien won’t be picked as he has had a fall-out with the manager. It’s going to be fascinating to see who Grayson brings in.

“I think they’ll go for it, like last season. They don’t go anywhere to defend because they can’t - it’s not part of their natural make-up. We are expecting Arsenal to win comfortably, despite what happened last year when Leeds came close to winning at the Emirates.

“Leeds are a bit predictable this season. Luciano Becchio was the top scorer with 20 goals last season, but he has had a poor season and doesn’t look half the player he was. They are more solid this year, they’re not shipping as many goals, but they’re not as exciting going forward.

“The last time Henry played Leeds in north London, he had four goals in a 5-0 win. I don’t think it’ll be that bad, but I reckon it’ll be 3-1 to Arsenal.”

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    9 Jan 2012