Finishing fifth represents a huge failure for the Gunners and Arsène Wenger or whoever is in charge has a massive uphill task to turn this club around and get them back in the title conversation next term.
Winning the FA Cup would offer some relief for Arsenal, but it won’t be easy.
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During his pre-match press conference, Wenger admitted that Brazilian defender Gabriel would miss six to eight weeks, add that to the suspension of Laurent Koscielny and the fact that Shkodran Mustafi hasn’t trained all week, Arsenal have some problems at the back.
If the German summer signing can make the game, he will join countryman Per Mertesacker — who made his comeback against Everton — and the impressive Rob Holding in the back three.
There is an option of reverting back to a four-man defence, but that would be bold from the Frenchman after that formation caused his back-line a lot of problems.
If Mustafi can’t make the game, Nacho Monreal will go to left centre-back and Kieran Gibbs will play at wing-back.
Wenger does welcome back Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to the team and was positive about the chances of Alexis Sánchez starting.
“Knowing the player, knowing his character and knowing his commitment to the club, which I don’t question at all, he’ll make absolutely everything to be fit for Saturday,” Wenger said.
Without the Chilean, Arsenal’s chances of winning would be almost non-existent, especially as it could be his last game for the club.