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Preview: Arsenal v Reading: Team News, Line-Up & Prediction
Arsenal have a great opportunity to book their place in the FA Cup final when we take on Reading on Saturday evening.
We are in excellent form right now with our 1-0 win at Burnley last weekend our eighth Premier League win on the bounce and it’s 19 wins out of 21 in all competitions.
We booked our place in the last four of the FA Cup win an impressive 2-1 victory at Manchester United last month and now we face an out-of-form Reading side for a place in the final.
The Royals last victory came against Bradford City in the last round of the Cup and they’ve dropped down to 18th in the table following a run of just three points from their last six league games, so we should certainly be confident of progressing.
However, over-confidence was almost our downfall at this stage last season when we were forced to come from two goals down to beat Wigan on penalties, so let’s hope the boys have learned their lesson this time around.
Mikel Arteta has been ruled out of the game after suffering a minor set-back in his recovery from an ankle injury.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also facing at least another two weeks out as his troublesome groin injury continues to cause problems.
However, Jack Wilshere will be back in the squad after recovering from an ankle injury while Mathieu Debuchy is also being tipped to make his return to action.
Arsene Wenger has already confirmed that Wojciech Szczesny will start in goal so David Ospina will drop to the bench.
I’d like to see Kieran Gibbs given a run-out while I’d also take the decision to leave out Aaron Ramsey. He’s been forced to play on the right wing in recent games but I don’t think it’s worked as he drifts inside too often leaving Bellerin exposed.
Therefore, I’d start Danny Welbeck on the right to give us some width and pace down the wing. The boss needs to make a decision over Ramsey and Cazorla, and not jeopardise the teams shape just to fit them both in, and I’d go with the Spaniard alongside Coquelin.
It’s never easy to predict cup games, especially semi finals, as form usually goes out the window and I’m sure Reading will play like Barcelona tomorrow night. But as long as we can keep things tight at the back, not make any silly mistakes, then our superior quality should see us into the final.
Arsenal 3-1 Reading