Mesut Ozil could return to action for Arsenal’s FA Cup tie with Lincoln on Saturday at 17:30.
The German has been recovering from illness which left him sidelined for both of Arsenal’s defeats to Liverpool and Bayern Munich.
The Gunners are competing in their fourth FA Cup Quarter-final in as many seasons and despite Lincoln being non-league opposition, a win would instil some much needed confidence moving forward.
Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi are set to miss out through sickness in what is simply a must win game for Arsene Wenger’s side.
The boss has been subject for heavy criticism from the media and Arsenal supporters this week. Wenger though, remains confident in his abilities.
Speaking to BBC
“I think I’ve shown since I’m here that first of all I love this club, that I’m loyal to this club and that I make the right decisions for this club.”
Arsenal are in free-fall having lost five of the last seven, conceding 17 goals in the process. Thankfully the FA Cup form holds the club in good stead – It’s 18 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat from the Gunners’ last 20 FA Cup ties.
Lincoln top the National League by six points as they seek promotion to the football league. Manager Darren Crowley says no other cup upset would rival a win.
“If we get on the right side of the result, it would be the biggest upset in the history of the greatest cup competition in the world.”
This is the first competitive meeting between the sides since 1915 and their first competitive fixture. Arsenal.
Realistically, the sides head-to-head record means nothing – Though as we are all feeling fragile, it’s reassuring to know Lincoln have never won away to Arsenal, losing 10 and drawing three of 13 matches.
PREDICTED ARSENAL XI
Expect a more experimental Arsenal XI, akin to the team that saw off Sutton three weeks ago. Petr Cech is rumoured to be growing frustrated with a lack of cup football, but it’s Ospina who remains between the sticks.
Up until Koscielny’s sending off against Bayern, Xhaka and Ramsey were brilliant – what happened next was inexcusable. The pair only keep their place due to our depleted squad and Coquelin’s poor form.
There have been calls for Wenger to permanently utilise The Ox in the middle rather than out wide – The Englishman has impressed in recent weeks. Jeff Reine Adelaide will likely operate on the wing alongside Lucas Perez, whilst Alexis Sanchez plays wide-left.
Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Gibbs; Xhaka, Ramsey; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Reine-Adelaide, Perez; Alexis
Lincoln have enjoyed a remarkable cup run, but this will be a bridge too far. The Arsenal players will be out to prove a point in the midst of hostile Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners should win this comfortably. However, with the likelihood of facing either Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea or Manchester United in the next round, our luck with the draws has ended. Our current form suggests the semi’s is as far as we can go.