Francis Coquelin is taking nothing for granted against Reading in the FA Cup.

Knowing that they are just two games away from becoming the most successful team in the history of the FA Cup, Arsenal first have to negotiate their way past a side that has never beaten them.

On paper it seems like a nailed on Arsenal win.

But we all know that games are not played on paper, and bringing his experience of playing Reading when he was with Charlton earlier in the season, Le Coq knows that Saturday’s game will be a tough one.

“You know the FA Cup, you don’t know what to expect – any team is ready for it and it is always a tough game at any stage,” he told Arsenal. “A semi-final at Wembley will be even tougher. We need to be ready and start on the front foot. Hopefully we can do that and win the game.

“I remember a tough game [against them for Charlton]. We won 1-0, but to be honest I don’t think we really deserved it.

“They put a lot of pressure on us, they have Pogrebnyak up front who is a big threat, and on the wings they have great players as well. We know it will be a tough game, it is a semi-final and the league you play in doesn’t matter.

“Whether you are in the Championship or the Premier League, in a game like this the team who puts the most pressure on and creates the most chances will win. If everyone is focused, we know we can get a good result.”

While Arsene Wenger is likely to make a few changes to the side which defeated Burnley in the Premier League last weekend, we are sure to see Coquelin retain his starting spot as a shield to protect the back four.

Racking up interceptions at a rate no-one can quite believe, with him in the side, what could once have seemed a typical banana-skin game, suddenly seems like it could well be a lot more straightforward.

Then again, this is Arsenal. Do we ever do anything the easy way?

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.