Arsene Wenger readies Arsenal for FA Cup hat-trick mission

Friday 11 Mar 2016
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is a man on a mission on Sunday against Watford, desperate to create history by landing a third straight Emirates FA Cup.

If Wenger’s men lift the Cup in May they will join Blackburn Rovers as the only team to win the trophy for three successive years – and take their record Cups tally to 13.

Arsenal v Watford

Emirates FA Cup quarter-final
Emirates Stadium
1.30pm Sunday 13 March 2016
Live on BT Sport 2

They may be facing a mounting injury crisis after Aaron Ramsey was ruled out for four weeks following, but Wenger remains determined.

“Is it fair or not [to say we are favourites for the Emirates FA Cup]? I don’t know. I look at the teams who are still in the competition and you could say the same to three or four as well,” said Wenger.

“We have a chance like everyone else and we want to play as hard as we can to give ourselves a good chance to be successful.

“We have to take care of the next minute and the next minute is an FA Cup game.

“Is it the best chance to win a trophy? It’s still far away. We must win the next game and prove that we can show consistency again. We are completely focused on Watford.”

Watch all the goals from Arsenal's 4-0 Cup win at Hull City

Arsenal have won four of their five previous FA Cup meetings with Watford, including a 4-2 third-round win en route to lifting the trophy in 2002.

Despite that statistic Wenger is far from complacent as he chases progression to the last four.

He may be shorn of some of key personnel but the supporting cast set to take centre stage at the Emirates Stadium this weekend are more than capable of delivering, according to the Frenchman.

Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny has been a competition regular since joining from Basel in January, completing the full 90 minutes of the Gunners’ wins over Burnley and Hull City.

From the Archive: Watch Watford take on Arsenal from 1987

Elneny also impressed in the Premier League at Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, and Wenger is ready to field the 23-year-old once more.

“He looks like he is ready to play,” the manager said. “I consider every formula that is possible to give us a balance. At the moment I think Elneny in central midfield can cope.

“We have [Mathieu] Flamini, we have [Francis] Coquelin who can cope as well. They have shown [that] already. The formula can change as well if needed but that depends on the games. Every game will be different now.

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“In our job, you want to perform in the next game and the next game is an important one because we have fought hard to get there and that is our purpose. After that we deal with the next one.

“If you have a good run, you sometimes absorb them without any problems. If you have a bad result, of course there is no time to digest sometimes and to get the belief back in the squad. 

"We want to do that and what is very important is to be in there and have a chance to show how good you are.”

By FA Staff