I must say I felt a little strange at the end of the Everton vs Manchester City game, almost as if that full time whistle instantly ended our domestic campaign there and then.
In many ways it has, as our players could find it difficult to find the competitive edge with nothing to play for. Third place is a possibility but it is unlikely. Yet the manager will want his troops to continue the positive momentum that has been visible since Ramsey and Özil returned to the squad from injury. The best possible preparation for the cup final is to win our last two matches alongside good performances. If we switch off now when our position in the league is safe, it might prove difficult to switch back on at Wembley.We will be favourites at Wembley, you can see that clearly over on latestfreebet.com
That said Arsene will want to have as many players available as possible and as fresh as possible so that is the challenge for Arsene. Rumours this morning suggest that Aaron Ramsey might be rested for the game today which I suppose is sensible given the amount of time he was out. It just goes to show the difficulty the manager has when it comes to rest and rotation. Even though there is very little to play for, upon hearing of Ramsey's potential resting today I felt a sense of disappointment such is the impact of the Welshman. So when important and difficult games hit you every weekend and many midweek CL matches, it is always a risk to leave out your best players.
I wonder if we will see mass rotation today and then play our strongest available squad against Norwich in preparation for the final or if we will see bits of rotation in both? Or maybe not rotate at all. Think I've covered all the bases.
Mean Lean's Predicted Line Up:
I dunno mate!
Haven't a clue to be honest, as I said above it all depends on what Arsene is thinking and the condition of the players. One thing I would like to see today is a goal for Yaya Sanogo. Maybe it's wishful thinking but I can't escape the feeling that once he nets, goals will continue to flow for him.
Maybe he should have a chat to Aaron Ramsey about relaxing in the penalty box. Ramsey's finishing had been similar to what we've seen from Sanogo so far in an Arsenal shirt. Snatching at bouncing balls, rushing chances and trying to force everything. Once he finds that extra split second in the box perhaps the outcome will change.
I hope to see a continuation of our attacking game above most this afternoon. We've looked far better going forward over the last few games. That means getting players beyond Giroud/Sanogo it means players making runs into goalscoring positions when the likes of Özil/Cazorla and Ramsey are on the ball.
Ahh here is another shout for today. I fully expect Per Mertesacker to be rested with Thomas Vermaelen taking his place. The BFG has played a hell of a lot of minutes since the start of the season and could do with a mini recharge.
Finally it is very likely that today could be the last home match for Bacary Sagna. Not entirely sure if he has a knee problem or not but he deserves a great reception and send off from the Arsenal fans. Mr dependable, Mr reliable, Mr warrior. He'll be missed if/when he leaves but at his age with two broken legs behind him it is understandable that the club are not going to pay £150k a week for three years. I'm sure many will disagree and that is fine, he has been one of our best players for years. We'll soon see if his best years are behind him or if he has plenty more at his level.
Regardless, thank you Sagna as long as you leave the Premier League then I wish you all the success, that changes if he stays obviously but he remains the best right back I've ever supported in my life time.
UPDATE: Abou Diaby is in the squad and likely to start on the bench. Be great to see him again, I think he and Özil will enjoy themselves together. Likely to be very rusty though.