Arsenal forward Theo Walcott will be hoping he starts in today’s FA Cup semi-final match against Manchester City given his impressive record in past meetings, let alone this competition this season. The English international has been a thorn in the City side previously due to his excessive pace on the counter to catch the Sky Blues’ defence cold, and he could well strike again given how ruthless he’s been in the FA Cup so far.
Arsenal travel to Wembley to face Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final this afternoon, and are hoping they can continue their fine head-to-head record to seal their place in the competition’s final for the third season out of four. The Gunners have recently ended their poor run of form in the Premier League and are desperate for silverware which could see them get a result.
Monday’s win over Middlesbrough sees Arsenal with some momentum going into today’s encounter, although City boast consecutive victories ahead of the meeting. However, the Sky Blues have failed to win three of their last four games away from the Etihad Stadium so Arsenal aren’t major underdogs by any means.
Arsenal may be 90 minutes away from reaching their third FA Cup final in four seasons with a semi-final clash to come against Manchester City, but the Gunners are still keeping an eye on the Premier League top-four and will be hoping Burnley and Crystal Palace can do them a favour in their respective games against Manchester United (5th) and Liverpool (3rd), to give them hope of gaining ground.
This afternoon’s FA Cup semi-final clash against Manchester City will be the 10th time Arsenal and the Citizens have met in a competitive fixture since 2013, but how have the last nine meetings gone between the two sides?
Previous nine head-to-heads between Arsenal and Manchester City
in all competitions
(2/4/17) Premier League: Arsenal 2-2 Manchester City
(18/12/16) Premier League: Manchester City 2-1 Arsenal
(8/5/16) Premier League: Manchester City 2-2 Arsenal
(21/12/15) Premier League: Arsenal 2-1 Manchester City
(18/1/15) Premier League: Manchester City 0-2 Arsenal
(13/9/14) Premier League: Arsenal 2-2 Manchester City
(10/8/14) Community Shield: Arsenal 3-0 Manchester City
(29/3/14) Premier League: Arsenal 1-1 Manchester City
(14/12/13) Premier League: Manchester City 6-3 Arsenal
Having made six appearances in all competitions for Arsenal in the last seven weeks, midfielder Aaron Ramsey has become an important player for manager Arsene Wenger and is likely to keep his place in the engine room for this afternoon’s FA Cup semi-final clash with Manchester City as a result.
The Welsh international has endured a stop-start season due to injury and inconsistent form, but made his first Premier League start for a month in Monday’s 2-1 win over Middlesbrough and was singled out for praise by Wenger in the build-up to this weekend’s match at Wembley.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed he could stick with a 3-5-2 formation ahead of this afternoon’s FA Cup semi-final clash with Manchester City, after the side stopped the rot in the Premier League with a win against Middlesbrough while adopting a three-man defence in the process.
“It is an option, yes. But what will I do? You will understand that I won’t tell you now. It was more destined to give us a bit more defensive solidity because recently away from home we conceded too many goals. I think the definition of a good football player is that he is adaptable to any situation,” said Wenger.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gave an injury update on his six first-team players currently sidelined. Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina remains sidelined with a back injury. “Ospina is out. It is a longer-term injury. Ospina could be back in 10 days,” said the Gunners boss.
In defence, World Cup winner and £32M summer-signing Shkodran Mustafi has been ruled out with a thigh injury. As for the midfield, Santi Cazorla is out for the season with his ongoing issue with an achilles injury, while Jeff Reine- Adelaide is expected to miss the remainder of the campaign with an ankle injury.
Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was honest in his interview after the Gunners earned a narrow victory over relegation-threatened Middlesbrough on Monday night, admitting the players had let standards slip during their woeful run of form.
The Gunners had lost five of their last eight Premier League games ahead of the trip to the Riverside Stadium, recently suffering a 3-0 defeat away to Crystal Palace which has all but ended their chances of a top-four finish.
And after stopping the rot to Middlesbrough, Oxlade-Chamberlain revealed players haven’t been giving their all of late.
Arsenal travel to the Riverside Stadium to face Middlesbrough in the Premier League on Monday evening, desperate for a win to boost their fledgling hopes of a top-four finish. With four consecutive defeats on the road, Arsenal come into their clash with Boro in poor form and don’t have the best record against the North-East outfit in recent head-to-heads.
Arsenal’s last nine Premier League meetings with Middlesbrough
(10/9/05) Middlesbrough 2-1 Arsenal
(14/1/06) Arsenal 7-0 Middlesbrough
(9/9/06) Arsenal 1-1 Middlesbrough
(3/2/07) Middlesbrough 1-1 Arsenal
(9/12/07) Middlesbrough 2-1 Arsenal
(15/3/08) Arsenal 1-1 Middlesbrough
(13/12/08) Middlesbrough 1-1 Arsenal
(26/4/09) Arsenal 2-0 Middlesbrough
(22/10/16) Arsenal 0-0 Middlesbrough
Arsenal could well have their first-choice shop-stopper and key centre-back back in the squad for Monday’s trip to the Riverside stadium. The Gunners lock horns with relegation-threated Middlesbrough in desperate need of a win, which may result in manager Arsene Wenger throwing in his first-team regulars sooner than he may have wanted.
As for the goalkeeper situation, Emiliano Martinez has been operating between the sticks for Arsenal in recent weeks with David Ospina out with a back injury and Petr Cech suffering from a calf strain. However, the latter cold be returning in time to line up against Boro, with Wenger saying: “I believe that we have a chance of getting Petr Cech back in the squad.”