Manchester City and Arsenal face off in the FA Cup semi-finals in what is the only realistic chance of silverware for both sides.
Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger once again dodged all questions about his future at the club saying that his team’s performance in the FA Cup will have no bearing on where he will be next season.
Arsenal were gifted the easiest possible route to the FA Cup semi-finals with two non-league clashes in a row, but now they meet Manchester City for a place in the final at a time of internal controversy and on-field doubt.
Arsenal have won the FA Cup twice in the last three seasons, beating Reading and Wigan in the semi-finals, but Wenger is expecting a sterner test from Pep Guardiola’s City. The Gunners will be likely be without striker Danny Welbeck who is a doubt for the match, while defender Shkodran Mustafi, goalkeeper David Ospina and forward Lucas Perez all remain sidelined.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City may welcome Bacary Sagna and Fabian Delph who have both returned to training this week while Gabriel Jesus has also returned and may make a shock return to the team on Sunday despite there being no indication that the young Brazilian will be fit to play. Guardiola has suffered his worst season as a manager and will be eyeing a chance of reprieve from what has been a miserable season for him so far.
It’s a big match for…
Arsene Wenger. Despite downplaying the impact the FA Cup will have on his Arsenal future, Wenger simply cannot afford another season without silverware. With growing animosity among fans, the pressure for Wenger to produce noteworthy performances are growing by the day and a loss against Manchester City will only make the ticking time bomb tick faster.
Player to watch…
Leroy Sane. The German has enjoyed a superb season to date and is fast developing into one of the best brightest young players in Europe. Having being nominated for the PFA young player of the year, Sane has lived up to his £27million pricetag. The forward scored the second goal in Manchester City’s 3-0 win over Southampton and his recent form may spark trouble for Wenger’s weakened Arsenal defence.
Source: Adam Theofilatos, The Independent