Despite all the ups and, more recently, downs of this season, the fact remains that Arsenal are still in contention for a trophy. And it’s my favorite trophy! Sunday morning (in the US, anyway), Arsenal take the field at Wembley to face Manchester City in one semifinal of the FA Cup, the winner of whom will take on the winner of Spurs/Chelsea on May 27th.
Arsenal come into this game on the back of a 2-1 win over Middlesbrough that saw Arsene put out a three man defensive line. Whether that will happen against City remains to be seen - my gut instinct is that City would tear that three man back line apart, but my gut instinct also said I should have a bacon cheeseburger for dinner, so I am clearly not in a position to make declarations about what professional athletes do or how they are to do it.
Shkodran Mustafi, JEFF, and Lucas Perez are out, but otherwise Arsenal are reasonably fit. For City, Gabriel Jesus could make the squad, having been cleared to travel as he recovers from a metatarsal injury suffered in February.
I’m not sure I’d call this the most important game of Arsenal’s season - there have been several of those - but winning this and getting to the final would be a nice blast of positivity after almost three months of garbage and anger and stress, and it would maybe give the team a boost of energy as they try to get back up into the top four and stay there.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
7AM PT/10AM ET/3PM BT
Wembley Stadium, London
Cech; Koscielny, Holding, Gabriel; Xhaka, Ramsey, Monreal, Bellerin; Giroud, Özil, Sanchez
How to watch:
In the not-US, check livesoccer.tv.