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FA Cup: Wenger's press briefing ahead of Man City tie

FA Cup By: Collins Udeme | 20/04/2017

FA Cup: Wenger's press conference ahead of Man City tie

The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger in a press conference on Thursday looked ahead to Sunday's clash against Manchester City in a FA Cup semi final tie and why it means so much to the Gunners.

Alex Iwobi and his Arsenal side face Iheanacho's Man City at Wembley on Sunday for a place in the final, with the FA Cup proving Arsenal's only chance of a silverware this season following disappointing performances in other cup competitions (UEFA CL, League Cup) and the league title race.

Having played in 11 Emirates FA Cup semi-finals, Arsène Wenger knows exactly what to expect from Sunday’s clash against Manchester City. The Arsenal manager and his squad are well-versed in the Wembley experience, but that does not dampen any enthusiasm for what the Frenchman expects to be a "great experience".

"We have played a few games there recently," Wenger said. "We know what is awaiting us and we know both dressing rooms because we have been in both and the pitch is much better than it was before. Overall we will not feel lost there.

"We are ambitious because we have done it before and we know we can do it. In the previous semi-finals, we were super favourites but in this game it is between two teams who are very close to each other in the Premier League so it is much more level on chances at the start. We know we absolutely have to be at our best to qualify.

"It’s always something special. I remember my first [semi-final], when we played at Villa Park against Wolves. That’s the day when I realised how big the club is, how much it means to our supporters because suddenly the stadium is divided in two for an away game and your fans are all there.

"So it’s a special experience and we are focused and highly motivated. Maybe not at the maximum of our confidence because we had recently some disappointing results, but that is a good opportunity to show we are ready for a fight and how much we want to go to the final."

On the team news, Wenger provided updates on Danny Welbeck, Shkodran Mustafi, David Ospina, Lucas and Jeff Reine-Adelaide.

"The latest team news from last weekend is that everybody should be available. We have an uncertainty about Danny Welbeck, and Shkodran Mustafi is out. That’s it. Danny is a doubt for the semi-final, he will have tests today and tomorrow to see if he will be available.

"Ospina is out and Lucas is still out. They are longer-term injuries. Ospina could be back in 10 days. Reine-Adelaide has got an ankle injury and is out for the rest of the season. It is not a future-threatening problem, but it will take him six weeks so this season is basically finished for him." Wenger told Arenal player