PREVIEW By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Arsene Wenger is set to ring the changes for Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Watford.
The competition now represents the Gunners’ best chance of winning some silverware this season and Wenger is set to respond by selecting a stronger side than the one that brushed aside Championship club Hull 4-0 on Tuesday night.
The Watford match at Emirates Stadium is the first of three pivotal matches in seven days, with Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Barcelona followed by a trip to Everton in the Premier League title race.
However, key first teamers like Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Hector Bellerin and Danny Welbeck were given a breather in midweek and will come into contention to return to the starting line-up.
Nacho Monreal, who started on the substitute’s bench at Hull, and fit-again Laurent Koscielny could also return to the team, while Francis Coquelin is also likely to play after being suspended for the clash at the KC Stadium.
Wenger is likely to have half an eye on the Barcelona and Everton matches, but knows he cannot play a weakened side against and throw away the chance to win a competition that will require just three more victories to clinch a record third consecutive FA Cup triumph.
Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott put lean runs behind them to score two apiece against Hull, which means they could keep their places in the Arsenal team despite the availability of Danny Welbeck.
Arsenal (possible): Ospina; Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal; Elneny, Coquelin; Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud.