Arsene Wenger already knows who he will play against Sutton United on Monday night – and he had his team decided before we got hammered by Bayern Munich.
Speaking to the press on Friday morning, Arsene Wenger revealed that he would take a ‘normal team’ to Sutton, hinting at a stronger than normal cup side, especially given the opposition (no offence).
And he’s right too. The FA Cup is likely the only trophy Arsenal can win now this season and what better way to answer (some) critics than with hitting double digits on Monday night.
I know, I know, I dream.
“I always had in my head that it was a very important game,” Wenger said. “In my head I have had a team that will start and play there, for a week or 10 days now. That result we had at Bayern Munich will not influence that selection.
“The FA Cup is one of our targets. It’s the next game and for us to bounce back after the game we just had, it becomes a very important game. But it always was, in my head.
“Sutton had six or seven players who didn’t play [recently], so they didn’t play with their regular team,” he added. “I expect a completely different game against us.
“It will be the FA Cup with everybody supporting them. They’ve been preparing for this game for a long time in their heads with a huge enthusiasm, so you cannot compare that with the game against Boreham Wood.”
So, who exactly will play? “A normal team… I gave [some youngsters] a chance [at Southampton] because I think they deserved to play and have a good opportunity to come in for players who usually play, and I think they have done well. One or two might have another chance to say that they can play in every single game now.”
As you can tell from those comments, it is unlikely to be a team filled with youngsters.
This is one game Arsenal can take no risk with, although an argument could be made that the team that dispatched Southampton might actually perform better.