Match to be played on Saturday March 8 2014 at 12:45 GMT. Venue: Emirates Stadium, London.
Arsenal’s chances of winning the tournament are as good as any other side left in the competition but Arsene Wenger has a difficult choice to make over whether to play a strong side or rest players for the Champions League second leg against Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
Here’s the side he could go with.
GK – Lukasz Fabianski
Wojciech Szczesny started for Poland last night so his fellow countryman could get the nod. He’s done a great job whenever he’s been called on this season.
RB – Bacary Sagna
Wenger is unlikely to want to lose too much experience from his back four which means Sagna should stay on the right hand side of the defence.
CB – Per Mertesacker
Mertesacker has been one of Arsenal’s more consistent players so far this season. He creates a real presence in Arsenal’s back four and is an extremely difficult defender to get the better of.
CB – Thomas Vermaelen
Laurent Kocielny picked up a slight hamstring problem while on international duty with France. The Bayern Munich game is too important for Wenger to risk the Frenchman.
LB – Kieran Gibbs
Gibbs offers a lot of pace and energy down the left. Defensively he has to stay very solid, not leaving too much space in behind.
RM – Serge Gnabry
The German winger offers a lot of pace down the right. He also presents Wenger with the chance to rest Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or move the Ox into a central role to rest a key midfielder.
DM – Mikel Arteta
Arteta has plenty of experience to slot into the side and protect the back four. He maybe doesn’t have as much aggression as Mathieu Flamini but is perfectly capable of doing a good job.
CM – Tomas Rosicky
Wenger could place his faith in Tomas Rosicky for this game following the news that Jack Wilshere has broken his foot and will be out of action for six weeks. Rosicky is more than capable of sitting in the middle and pulling the strings.
AM – Santi Cazorla
Cazorla thrives when he’s given the time and the space across the midfield to get on the ball and have an impact. The Spaniard may start in behind the main striker, but he’ll roam around.
LM – Lukas Podolski
The German has filled in on the left hand side several times in the past. It could be a great opportunity for him to show the boss he means business ahead of the Bayern game.
ST – Yaya Sanogo
Sanogo has done enough to show Wenger that he’s worth starting in big games and this is another chance for him to win Arsenal a match, increasing his popularity and confidence.
image: © wonker