Arsene Wenger has admitted that the physical presence of some of the Lincoln players will influence his own team selection.
“They have some physical players, like Matt Rhead up front for example,” Wenger wrote in his programme notes ahead of the game. “That will influence my team selection a little bit, but we deal with that in the Premier League as well.
“We know how to cope with long balls, that doesn’t make him any less dangerous though.
“But I think it’s about more than the selection – all my players have the ability to deal with a direct game and heading – it’s more how you prepare mentally to be ready for the challenge that will be decisive.
“We must take the positives from our first-half display on Tuesday against Bayern.
“The match on Tuesday was like two different games. Much was down to the fact that we had goals to catch back so the influence of the red card was even bigger. If we had an advantage to defend it would have been easier.
“In the first half I felt we produced a quality game, maybe the best this year. We had drive, pace, determination, an assertive attitude and authority in our game. Overall I think we did extremely well, but we were left with many regrets afterwards.
“The players must rely on what we did well and repeat it in our next games. That’s what I want them to do. Overall I believe that’s our challenge now: to show that we care, can take the positives out of the game and reproduce it in our next matches. We have a lot to go for, but of course we want to respond very quickly.”
Arsenal know that nothing less than a comprehensive win will lift any of the pressure they have been feeling recently. They should also know that they won’t have it all their own way as their recent trip to Sutton United showed them.
Lincoln come to the Emirates with nothing to lose while Arsenal, really, have nothing to gain from this game except a place at Wembley. They are expected to win.
Anything less and what is already a bad situation will deteriorate rapidly.