FA Cup Semi-final Preview: Wigan vs Arsenal. Round-up of Both Teams

Arsenal-v-Wigan2Arsenal take on FA Cup holders Wigan at Wembley this weekend as they look to end their nine-year silverware drought.

Arsenals’ last trophy came back in 2005 when they defeated Manchester United on penalties to secure FA Cup glory at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

While Arsene Wenger has over the years maintained Arsenal’s position among the top four clubs in the country but the lack of a silverware has been highlighted on an increasingly regular basis.

An untimely dip in Premier League form in the last half of the season has seen Wenger’s men slip out of the title race and they now face a fight to ensure they finish among the top four this term.

Arsene Wenger has called for a strong performance from his players following the defeat at Everton.
But their sole focus this weekend will be on overcoming Wigan, who lifted the trophy against all the odds in May last year with victory over Manchester City, before dumping out Manuel Pellegrini’s men in the quarter-finals this season.

Uwe Rosler is now at the helm of the Latics, with cup-winning manager Roberto Martinez departing for Everton in the summer and his replacement, Owen Coyle, being axed in December.

Rosler has guided Wigan into the Championship play-off places but, like Arsenal, their form has dipped with just one victory in their last five matches.

The last meeting between the two teams came at Emirates Stadium in May last year, just three days after Wigan’s FA Cup final triumph, when a 4-1 victory for the Gunners condemned them to relegation to the Championship.

Below is a round-up of both teams ahead of the clash.

Wigan.

Goalkeeper Scott Carson was recalled in the midweek loss to Millwall and started in the quarter-final win over Manchester City, but is not certain of getting the nod ahead of Rosler’s usual first choice, Ali Al Habsi.

The Latics manager remains without Ben Watson (broken leg), Chris McCann (knee) and Roger Espinoza (hernia), while Rob Kiernan and Martyn Waghorn are both cup-tied. However, loanees Nicky Maynard, Josh McEachran, Nick Powell and Jack Collison are all eligible for the holders.

Rosler rested James Perch on Tuesday – another yellow card for him would have triggered a suspension, and the full-back, along with the likes of Callum McManaman and Jordi Gomez, are likely to come back in.

Arsenal.

Arsenal will hand fitness tests to midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (groin) and Tomas Rosicky (thigh) as well as full-back Kieran Gibbs (ankle).

Midfielder Mathieu Flamini is suspended, so fit-again Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey is expected to start and as in previous rounds Lukas Fabianski will play in goal ahead of regular number one Wojciech Szczesny.

Centre-half Laurent Koscielny (calf), midfielder Serge Gnabry (knee), Germany international Mesut Ozil (hamstring), England midfielder Jack Wilshere (foot) are all still recovering, as are Abou Diaby and Theo Walcott (both knee).

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