FA cup preview and team news for Arsenal vs. Everton

Arsenal’s tough test of games returns after having two games against sides that were considered to be easy opponents, even though it didn’t quite work out that way. The Gunners were expected to attain wins against Sunderland and Stoke however a slip up at Stoke meant that Arsenal continue to fall away from top spot in the league.

It doesn’t seem too long ago that the horrors of February were amongst us. A disastrous defeat to Bayern Munich and a thrashing by Liverpool condemned a poor couple of games for the Gunners which also saw us draw with Manchester United 0-0 at home.

But now Arsenal will be hoping to get their season back underway once more with victory in the FA Cup quarter-final draw against Everton. A win will take Arsenal to Wembley for a semi-final tie and Arsenal will be hopeful that Everton will not be as tough as we have already witnessed this season.

Everton have been one of the best sides in the Premier league this season and were persistently in the top four for the opening months of the season, however like Arsenal, results haven’t quite gone as expected and they too will be hoping progression is looming for them in the FA Cup.

For Everton, the FA cup is their only chance of silverware and I suppose you could slowly start to suggest the same thing for arsenal, despite the Gunners only being 4 points behind the leaders. I certainly think that a loss tomorrow will also damage our league hopes.

Arsenal must step their game up and I think the main threat from Everton will be their pace down the wings. Two speedy wingers, that also possess of a bit of skill, before being joined with Lukaku, is a frightening prospect. However it’s something Arsenal will have to control without any slip ups and also remember to have our own attacking possession at the same time.

For Arsenal, I’m sure you are well aware of the injury news surrounding Jack Wilshere and Laurent Koscielny. Neither are expected to play a part with the former being ruled out for as many as 6 weeks. Therefore whilst playing a strong side, Arsene Wenger may go with:

Sagna Mertesacker Vermaelen Gibbs
Arteta Flamini
Podolski Rosicky OX

I have a funny feeling Bendtner may start up front for the Gunners if available, otherwise we will once again be reliant on Olivier Giroud. I would say Sanogo cannot play in such an important game but bearing in mind he featured against Bayern, nothing is impossible at the moment. Fabianski should retain his place in goal for the FA Cup, whilst the contentious Ozil will probably feature at some point during the game.

It’s going to another tight game for Arsenal and their is certainly no denying that. However with the spirit and belief that Flamini has banged on about with pride all week, it’s very plausible for Arsenal to go through to the semis of the world’s oldest cup competitions.

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