Arsene Wenger may still be sat wondering whether to sink or swim, but a place in the FA Cup final could be the buoy he needs to survive.
Arsenal fans have made their intentions clear when it comes to the Frenchman’s future, but landing England’s most famous trophy could turn some heads.
The Gunners board are looking for a way to justify the position of a man who’s been employed for over 20 years now, but opinions are split amongst the supporters.
Despite so much uncertainty, you can be sure the 30,000 or so fans in red at Wembley on Sunday will get behind whatever squad Wenger decides to play with.
And following last weeks bounce back in form, the 67-year-old could opt to use a ‘defensive 3’ at the back, so here’s how my selection looks:
Check us out on Twitter @Fresh_Arsenal for match-day coverage!
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech
In normal circumstances I’d go with Ospina in goal and I’ve loved the way Martinez has played when asked to step in, but an occasion like this requires experience. Cech has had his slip ups but this stadium is practically a second home given the amount of times he’s played with Chelsea and the Gunners.
Centre-Backs: Rob Holding, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal
Gabriel shouldn’t be anywhere near the starting XI when it comes to a show down at Wembley, and I’d love to see Wenger stick faith on Holding again. Monreal featured as a wing-back against Middlesbrough but at 31 I just don’t think he’s got the legs to be tracking back and forth with City’s Navas/Sterling partnership. Koscielny will be touch-tight to Aguero, meaning Monreal and Holding can stay strong at the back and focus on playing the right balls into the midfield.
Right wing-back: Hector Bellerin
Let’s forget about that new hairstyle for a while and remember the Bellerin we all know! He’s the perfect player to feature on the wing due to his ability to get forward and back in such quick succession. If things aren’t working out with the 3, Bellerin can slot into right-back which means Wenger has plenty of options to tinker without having to call on the bench.
Central Midfield: Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey
Two players that love an occasion and with Wembley it doesn’t come much better. These two have managed to form a nice partnership in 2017 given the amount of injury problems Arsenal have had to cope with. Xhaka has to sit back during this game and let Ramsey do the running because when City attack they’ll hit us hard.
Left wing-back: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
The Ox is loving life in an Arsenal shirt at the moment and whether he’s playing to get away or for more appearances under Wenger, he’s one of the strongest assets we have. Playing right wing-back last week really suited him and by switching him to the other side it gives him the ability to free roam up and down the left side. He can tackle, cause issues and loves to cut in and have a strike at goal.
Centre-attacking-midfield: Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez
Not much to say when it comes to these two, just let them do their thing in and around the final third and hopefully something will spark. Dropping Alexis back a little bit means he can still see plenty of the ball and gives him the best of both worlds to be the star of the show or the supporting act. Ozil is often criticised for not turning up in games like this, but please watch him carefully and you’ll see that’s not the case.
Centre Forward: Danny Welbeck
A man that’s out to prove a point and is desperate for a goal. With two wing-backs there will be plenty of balls launched into the area and the dodgy defence City possess should be something Welbeck will be rubbing his hands at. Hasn’t scored since early March so would love to see him running off in celebration on Sunday.
My 3-4-2-1: Cech, Holding, Koscielny, Monreal, Bellerin, Xhaka, Ramsey, The Ox, Ozil, Alexis, Welbeck