FA Cup Preview: Wenger Out? + Team News, Preferred XI & Prediction

By on April 11, 2014

Arsenal face holders Wigan in the Semi Final of the FA Cup at Wembley tomorrow evening in a game that has huge implications for both Arsenal Football Club and manager Arsene Wenger.

I’m lucky enough to be going to the game and will have the pleasure of sitting in a corporate box. Sadly it won’t have the same atmosphere as being in the crowd, but at least I get free beer!

I’m sure like many of you, I’m slightly more nervous about this game than perhaps we should be. We are facing a Championship side after-all so we should be huge favourites to win the game and reach the final. However, we have so much to lose, and Wigan will know that.

If we fail to win tomorrow I fear it will be a devastating blow to the squad’s mental state, and has the potential to be even more harmful than the League Cup loss to Birmingham. There is so much expectation that this will be the year that we finally end our trophy drought, that failure to do so will be hugely damaging and could see us further implode to miss out on the top four as well.

It will also have wider implications on the future of Arsene as I can see a huge majority of the so-called ‘Arsene Knows Brigade’ turning on him if he fails to deliver the FA Cup this season. Lose tomorrow, and Wenger will have no choice but to leave when his contract expires this summer. The fans will force him out. So it’s all to play for tomorrow and I just hope the team turns up.

So far this season, the players have frozen in pretty-much every big game. If they bottle it again tomorrow, Wigan have the quality to pull off another shock.  They won the competition last season and beat Man City on their own patch to reach the last four this year, so they certainly can not be underestimated.

Injury News

It was looking grim on Thursday when the boss said Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tomas Rosicky and Kieran Gibbs were all major doubts, but the trio all took part in training today so it looks like they could be involved tomorrow.

I personally wouldn’t risk Gibbs from the start unless he’s 100% fit and the same goes with Rosicky, but I think we desperately need The Ox to start for his pace. Otherwise we’re going to be slow and predictable in attack.

The injury list is still extensive with Laurent Koscielny not expected back until Tuesday’s clash with West Ham while Mesut Ozil could feature against Hull City next Sunday.

But for tomorrow’s game, they join Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Abou Diaby, Serge Gnabry and Ryo Miyaichi on the sidelines, while Mathieu Flamini is suspended.

Preferred XI

Lukasz Fabianski will start in goal and I think we’ll see the same back-four that started against Everton last week. Let’s hope they play a little better this time around!

There has been lots of talk of Kim Kallstrom possibly starting but I think it would be a huge risk for game of this intensity. Aaron Ramsey is certain to start after returning from a thigh injury last week while I’ve changed my mind on who should start up front.

In my post yesterday, I called for Olivier Giroud to start but now I feel we should give Yaya Sanogo another chance. He’s started in the last few FA Cup games and performed well, and let’s face it, Giroud has been fairly useless lately, so he can’t do much worse.


If we turn up and play our game, Wigan shouldn’t be able to live with us. However, if we start slowly and let them gain confidence, it could all go horribly wrong. But I’m going to back the boys to put in a performance tomorrow and book our place in the final.

Arsenal 3-0 Wigan   COYG!!!

What team would you start? What do you think the score will be? Should Arsene go if we lose?



  1. Kayaweh

    April 11, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Arteta out! He is too lazy.

  2. Dlaw

    April 11, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    It will be good to drop giroud & try sonogo, kallstroom should be given a chance.

  3. Ozil

    April 11, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Arteta shuled start with Ramsey

  4. kiber

    April 11, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    He is vary stupid wenger out is the only way we have a choice !!!!!

  5. Adeniran a adeola

    April 11, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    I think i prefer Podoski upfront, with Fabianski, Sagna, Per, Verm, Gibbs, Arteta, Rambo, The ox, Carzola, Rosicky and Sanogo.

    • abson

      April 11, 2014 at 8:43 pm

      I will prefer gibbs than monreal. since gibbs is back

  6. Sphinx37

    April 11, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    I would like to see Arsenal play strong in the middle. Here is my lineup: defense, Per, Sagna in the middle and Verm on the left, midfield, Carzola, Arerta, Ramsey, Monreal left. Those guys play offense and help the defense. In front, I play the Ox in the middle, podosky left and Sonago right.

  7. Gab

    April 11, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    Wenger will throw this chance away. This line up is nt strong, wenger should leave arsenal

  8. Arsenal

    April 11, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    3-0??? Its almost impossible with Arteta in the starting XI. I will be more confident if start K.Kallstrom along side with Ramsey.

  9. abdulrasheed

    April 11, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    either we win the fa cup or not, i think its time for arsene wenger to leave that club, he has damage that club theirfore we should try another this time around. always gunners.

  10. Ose

    April 11, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    Arsenal 2: 0 Wigan

  11. Mohammed kuku

    April 12, 2014 at 5:51 am

    My best XI to face WIGAN to day should be : Fabianski, sagna, per , verma , Gibs, Kallastrom , Ramsey , ox , Podoliski, Sanogo Substitute Viviano, Jenkson, moneral, Arteta, Flamini, Cazorla, Giroud

  12. Morrison

    April 12, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Possible line up fabiansky, sagna, per, verm, monreal,

    arteta, ramsey

    ox, cazorla, podolsky


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