PLYMOUTH Argyle defender Maxime Blanchard is dreaming of a FA Cup clash against Arsenal or Liverpool.
First, though, the Pilgrims must beat Welling United in their second round tie at Home Park tomorrow (3pm), and Blanchard does not expect that to be easy.
The 27-year-old knows all about being on the receiving end of a FA Cup upset and is determined to avoid any repeat.
Blanchard played for Argyle when they lost 1-0 away to Dorchester Town in a televised first round tie last November.
So the French defender is not about to take a win against Welling, who are in 13th position in the Football Conference Premier, for granted.
However, should the Pilgrims come out on top, Blanchard has two high-profile preferences for who he would Argyle like to play in the third round.
Blanchard told Herald Sport: “Arsenal or Liverpool _ these two teams probably. I like both of them.
“Arsenal, obviously, because of all the French influence there, and I like Liverpool as a place, and the atmosphere around the club.”
Blanchard lived on Merseyside when he spent the 2010/11 season playing for Tranmere Rovers, before moving to Argyle after a short spell without a club.
Argyle played Arsenal in the FA Cup third round in January 2009, when they lost 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium, with 9,000 away fans roaring them on.
The Pilgrims have never met Liverpool in the FA Cup, however.
Blanchard admitted Argyle’s defeat by Dorchester, after an early red card to captain Conor Hourihane, was ‘a big disappointment’.
He said: “These are really hard games. It’s not easy. Nowadays, we see more upsets like that one.”
Argyle have already beaten one Conference Premier club in the FA Cup this season, with a 5-0 drubbing of Lincoln City in a first round replay at Home Park.
That followed a closely fought 0-0 draw at Sincil Bank 10 days earlier.
Blanchard wants to see Argyle make the most of home advantage against Welling, and secure their place in round three.
He said: “It’s a good thing. We saw it against Lincoln as well. We drew 0-0 away and won 5-0 here.
“It’s always better to play at home, but the Conference is only one league below us and the gap is really close.”
Blanchard admitted he did not know much about Welling, who reached the second round with a 2-1 home win against Conference Premier rivals Luton Town.
He said: “Even in the league, I just focus more on ourselves than on the other team.
“Sometimes you know one or two people because you have played against them but I think, in general, you focus about yourself and on trying to be better than the other team.”
Blanchard added: “Apparently, they (Welling) are big and strong so it’s going to be a physical game.
“We just have to be better than them and win the game. That’s what the FA Cup is all about.
“It would be a good thing to get into the third round and play against a good team, and try to do something and be on the front page of the papers.”
Blanchard has made most of his 86 appearances for Argyle in central defence, but has been playing at right-back recently.
He said: “I’m doing a job for the team and, hopefully, I do it alright.”