WILLIE Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) takes up the controls as non-league Lincoln aim to dump the final insult on Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal v Lincoln | Saturday 17:30 | BT Sport 2
Revolution is in the air in north London; Arsenal fans are unhappy – very unhappy – in the aftermath of Tuesday’s crushing 5-1 Champions League defeat against Bayern Munich.
The club is in danger of missing out on a place in the top four in the Premier League (hope of taking the title appears to have all but vanished), the Gunners have just been battered 10-2 on aggregate by Bayern Munich in a seventh successive Champions League Last 16 exit, the future of star striker Alexis Sanchez seems far from certain and the fans want Arsene Wenger, who has been Arsenal manager for more than two decades, out.
Could things get any worse? They certainly could – and they will if Danny Cowley and his Imps, National League leaders, have anything to do with it when they travel to take on Arsenal in an FA Cup quarter-final this weekend.
Arsenal’s faithful friend
Yes, Lincoln City, who beat Premier League side Burnley at Turf Moor in the previous round of this competition, stand on the cusp of a semi-final spot in the competition and they are daring to dream of Wembley.
The FA Cup, though, has been a faithful friend to Arsenal and Arsene Wenger; the 67-year- old boss has seen his side claim the silverware at Wembley on no fewer than six occasions, including in two of the last three seasons.
It would, therefore, surely be the final insult should Arsenal crash out of the competition to a non-league outfit – even one as accomplished as Lincoln have shown themselves to be this term; Ipswich Town, Brighton and Hove Albion and Burnley have all found to their cost this season that the Imps are a decent side.
Professional and polished Arsenal
Arsenal, though, are professional and polished; they were on a hiding to nothing when they turned up at Gander Green Lane in the previous round and, despite a number of their key men being afforded an evening off, they claimed a comfortable 2-0 win against Sutton United.
On Saturday, they won’t have to worry about unfamiliar surroundings and, on the back of humiliation against Bayern, Wenger must be tempted to field a stronger side against Cowley’s team, with the Gunners in desperate need of a thoroughly convincing win.
It seems unlikely that the perfect storm will form for the Imps this weekend; Arsenal, surely, will prove to be too strong and Arsene Wenger will have yet another Wembley date to mark in his diary.
Arsenal have a point to prove against Lincoln City and the 21/20 quote for the Gunners to score more than three goals could offer value for punters.
Arsenal v Lincoln – Arsenal to score four or more goals (21/20 Coral)