Arsenal hosts Blackburn Rovers in the fifth round-tie of the FA Cup. It is an important clash for the Gunners as this tournament represent their best hope of winning a trophy this season and end their drought.
Arsenal Team News
With the big match against Bayern Munich looming large in the horizon, Wenger was expected to rest some of his regular starters in this clash. Arsene Wenger said in his pre-match press conference that Thomas Vermaelen is expected to start in this match, while Wilshere and Koscielny will undergo late fitness test.
Koscielny will start alongside Vermaelen in the center of the defence, while Wilshere has been rested. Santi Cazrola will also make it to the bench, while Rosicky starts in his place. Gervinho, who last featured in the starting line-up during the League Cup exit at the hands of Bradford back in Decemeber, will start his first game since returning from the African Cup of nations.
Theo Walcott will make way for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Giroud will start upfront. Interestingly, it seems Coquelin will start at the right back spot in this match. Overall, the line-up reflects that Wenger has kept one eye over the upcoming champions League fixture against Bayern Munich, but the Frenchman would hope that this team will be strong enough for a Blackburn side who are currently 8th in the Championship table.
Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Coquelin, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Monreal; Diaby, Arteta; Gervinho, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Giroud
Blackburn Rovers Team News
Blackburn Rovers manager Michael Appleton has made two changes to the starting line-up that drew against Brighton in their last fixture. DJ Campbell is cup tied and Pedersen will start in his place.
Although Blackburn will start with two strikers upfront either of Jordan Rhodes or kazim-Richards is expected to drop deep as they look to deny Arsenal any space with a five-man midfield. Danny Murphy has also been replaced by 30-year-old midfielder Lee Williamson.
Starting Line-Up (4-4-2): Kean; Orr, Dann, Hanley, Martin Olsson; Pedersen, Williamson, Lowe, Markus Olsson; Kazim-Richards, Rhodes