With their Champions League encounter against Bayern Munchen a few days away, Arsenal will be pleased that they have a seemingly straightforward FA Cup tie at home to Blackburn to negotiate this weekend. But very little has been straightforward in Arsenal’s recent history.
They will feel they have a good chance progressing in The Champions League but the FA Cup represents another realistic opportunity for silverware this season. Although all of the big boys are still in the FA Cup, Arsenal are only three games away from the final, but one defeat away from another mini crisis. In the past one would have happily had a flutter on a home win in such a game. Arsenal will more than likely win this one but, like Chelsea this season, Arsenal are susceptible to the odd catastrophe.
Arson Vender will want the Gunners to be on fire against Blackburn to ensure no embarrassment for his club, but his selection will be tempered by the mammoth tie that awaits his team next Tuesday at The Emirates. Still, expect a home win in this one and a comfortable victory if The Gunners can get an early lead.
Wenger has told the press that he has injury doubts over Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen, who will both face fitness tests for Saturday but should be OK for Tuesday. Kieran Gibbs is unlikely to make either game but has a chnace of making the bench against Munchen. Jack Wilshere is nursing a dead leg, suffered against Sunderland last weekend, and the Arsenal manager says that he won’t risk Wilshere it is not fully recovered,
‘I will not take a risk, with the rest of the season in mind and what happened before.’
I doubt the boss will play Jack this weekend because he surely be central to Arsenal’s plans next week in the first leg of the European tie.
Meanwhile the rumour mill is churning out the usual guff with more quotes and speculation about David Villa. Wenger has hopefully put this one to bed, for now at least, by saying:
‘I like the player, but at the moment we have some immediate targets.’
..and finally the Arsenal manager has praised Theo Walcott, and probably himself, for the development of the player who recently re-signed for The Gunners and has had a blinding season so far. He told Arsenal’s official website:
‘He’s a complete player today and his transformation is absolutely sensational.’
‘He improves every week and it shows that he is remarkably intelligent as well, because he understands things quickly, takes them on board and is open-minded. That’s why I believe he is always improving.’
Follow us on Twitter @soccersweep10