Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed the upcoming Champions League clash won’t affect his team selection for the FA Cup against Everton FC.
At this point of the season, it is all about having the right priorities for the Gunners. They are four points behind Chelsea in the Premier League having won just two of their last six matches. It seems unlikely at the moment that Arsenal will beat both Chelsea and Manchester City in the title race. The Champions League round-of-16 tie against Bayern Munich is as good as over for the Gunners as well after conceding a two-goal lead to Bayern at the Emirates. The FA Cup however represents their best opportunity to end their much talked about trophy drought. If they are able to beat Everton in this round, then Manchester City could be only possible stumbling block for them remaining in this tournament.
Arsene Wenger made a lot of changes for their FA Cup match in the last round when they defeat Liverpool 2-1, but he has insisted that he won’t be making as changes in this game. The Frenchman has also stated that this match has the highest priority at the moment and the upcoming clash against Bayern Munich won’t affect his team selection.
“Seven would be a bit too much. No, [the Bayern game will not affect team selection] at all. I will just consider the team with a good chance to win. That’s all.
“This is one of the priorities, the first priority is always to do well in the Premier League. The FA Cup is our next game, we had a disappointing result at Stoke and for us it is very important to come back with a strong response. The FA Cup is our absolute priority just because it is our next game.
“It’s the quarter final and we want to do well, qualify and win. That’s the best way for us to prepare for the other games.” – The Arsenal manager said.
Despite his claims, Wenger is likely to make as many as five changes to the side that lost against Stoke City in the last game. It was a disappointing performance and some of the team selection in that game was questioned. It is of utmost importance that Arsene Wenger gets his team right against Everton. An exit from this tournament at this stage will cause a lot of panic among the supporters and Arsene Wenger’s future might once again be put under the scanner.
With Jack Wilshere picking up an injury and doubts about the fitness of Laurent Koscielny, there will be changes in the side. Moreover, the attack looked toothless against Stoke and Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will certainly return to the line-up. There is also a big possibility of Olivier Giroud being dropped for this game after producing a fairly insipid performance in the last game.
The Gunners will need to show more vigour and incisiveness in attack in this game and once again Mesut Ozil will be expected to deliver. The German international has drawn a lot of criticism recently, both from Arsenal fans and German media regarding his subpar displays. Ozil will hope to turn it around quickly and what better occasion to put in a memorable performance than in a FA Cup Quarter-Final fixture. This is not only a big match for Arsenal, but it is also for both Arsene Wenger and Mesut Ozil.