Arsene Wenger is very grateful that the FA Cup will give him a chance to give Robin Van Persie a well-earned rest this weekend after it was revealed that the Dutchman played the most minutes of any Arsenal player in 2011.
Last season Arsenal played Leeds at the same stage of the competition and after playing a weakened team the Gunners were only given a lifeline by the substitute Cesc Fabregas equalising with a last minute penalty. It is unlikely that Wenger will be underestimating his opponents this time around.
“I will play a strong side, a normal side,” Wenger said.
“Maybe one or two will be rested, but apart from that I think we will still have Marouane Chamakh.
“Robin van Persie will certainly be rested for this game. We will hopefully have Chamakh available and Park available.
“Gervinho will maybe miss the game because the Ivory Coast players have to turn up 14 days before the Africa Cup of Nations tournament starts.”
Arsenal have a restful couple of weeks compared to last year when they had to contest two Carling Cup semi-finals in January. Hopefully this will give the team extra strength to go much further in the FA Cup this time around.