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Arsenal Boss To Hand Starts To These 4 Players vs Lincoln With Key Man Dropped
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is set to ring the changes for Saturday’s FA Cup quarter final against Lincoln City with a number of fringe players set for recalls, according to the Evening Standard.
So far, Wenger has used the FA Cup as an opportunity to use the full depth of his squad with the Frenchman regularly making upwards of 7 or 8 changes in all the previous rounds.
Some may have expected the boss to field his strongest team in the quarter finals given that the FA Cup is our only hope of silverware this season after crashing out of the Champions League and falling 16 points off the pace in the Premier League.
However, despite the growing pressure on his shoulders following Tuesday night’s humiliating defeat to Bayern Munich, Wenger is ready to risk it all by playing a weakened side against Lincoln tomorrow evening.
The Evening Standard claim that Alexis Sanchez will be dropped to the bench after putting in a disappointing performance against Bayern with on-going speculation over his future seemingly affecting the Chilean international.
Lucas Perez is expected to be recalled in attack with the forward set to get a rare opportunity to impress having scored during the 2-0 win over Sutton United in the previous round.
The newspaper says that Kieran Gibbs will come in for Nacho Monreal at left-back while Gabriel will also come back in to the defence with the likes of Laurent Koscielny and Hector Bellerin expected to be rested.
David Ospina is set to start in goal as Wenger sticks with our number 2 for the cup competitions meaning that a place on the bench is the best Petr Cech can hope for.
The Evening Standard claim that Jeff Reine-Adelaide will be involved in the game either from the start or on the bench as the youngster looks to get another chance to impress having featured in all the previous rounds.
Per Mertesacker is another player who could be in the squad as the German defender looks to make his first appearance of the season after recovering from a serious knee injury which he sustained in pre-season.
However, Mesut Ozil will be assessed ahead of the game after still complaining of sickness following his substitute appearances during the defeat to Bayern in midweek. Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi also remain doubts after being forced to miss the Champions League last-16 clash due to illness.
I’m personally not surprised that Wenger will freshen up his team this weekend as Tuesday’s defeat will have taken a lot out of the players and they’ll need to recover not just physically but also mentally.
No matter what side we put out tomorrow, we should still have way to much quality for the non-league side at the Emirates so I’m expecting us to comfortably progress to the semi finals.