what we could really do with a week before the cup final, is an absolute hammering of a Tony Pulis side, to mathematically out point United and send us into a full week of pre-cup final build up with confidence that we can bag plenty of goals in the cup final.
That’s what we could do with, but what we are more likely to get is a similar situation to next weekend, whereby we face a stubborn side who will be hard to break down and will look to catch us on the counter with the pace of a front man like Berahino. He needs to keep bagging goals against the top opposition because he’ll want a move in the summer to a team challenging for the top four. So I expect we’ll see a similar type of game to the Swansea one. Less so the Sunderland one, because West Brom are better than Sunderland, but the probabilities have increased since we have played out the last three home games to a level of frustration that none of us want to see.
In a sense, it’s probably a perfect dress rehearsal for the cup final, because we know it will be tight and we know that West Brom will play with a similar defensive style.
Whether or not Arsène goes for the same team that will start the cup final remains to be seen. I think there will be opportunities for squad players like Rosicky and Walcott, but I’m not sure how much Arsène will rotate. If it was me, we’d see Debuchy, Chambers, Gabriel, Gibbs, Flamini, Wilshere, Walcott all get a start. There’s no sense in risking a reckless challenge on the last game of the Premier League season, but also we need to keep every player fresh and as close to match sharp as possible in case somebody picks up a knock and we have to delve into the squad to give one of the team members a chance of playing in the cup final. I suspect that Arsène will find a blend of players who haven’t played and of those players who have been regular starters this season. That means we’ll probably see Ospina, Big Per, Coquelin, Özil, Santi and Girou at least, as well as Alexis out wide left I think. I can understand wanting to keep the continuity, so that would make sense, but personally I hope Wenger goes harder on his rotation than just Wilshere and Debuchy (assuming he’s fit).
Arsène’s not one for sentiment and so he won’t base his team on anything other than who’s fully fit and his best XI, but I think we’ll not be seeing the likes of Flamini and Rosicky next season, so it would be nice to give them a send off by affording them some minutes today.
Let’s see what Arsène does and let’s see if we can counter what will most likely be a very difficult afternoon for us.
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