Pavel Pogrebnyak has beaten a calf problem to be fit enough to feature in Saturday’s FA Cup Semi-Final. Nathan Ake and Kwesi Appiah will have to miss the tie for Reading having been cup tied from earlier in the season. Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere could be fit for the math since suffering an ankle injury, while Mikel Arteta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are expected to be out for the match. Wojciech Szczesny is expected to return in goal in replace of Ospina, while defender Mathieu Debuchy could also return from shoulder surgery.
Arsenal are looking for consecutive FA Cup titles, something not achieved since the Invincible days for the Gunners. The two sides tend to produce sparks, with the crazy night at the Medjeski Stadium just a few short years ago in the League Cup being the most memorable one. Reading were 4-0 up ebfore being pegged back 4-1 at half-time. 3 second half goals, including 1 in stoppage pushed the replayed tie to 4-4 before extra time. Arsenal pulled ahead 5-4 before Reading drew level 5-5 and 2 second half extra-time goals downed Reading 7-5. All in all the last 3 times the two clubs have met have led to 24 goals.
Reading come into the match having never reached the FA Cup Final in their history, with their last semifinal appearance being back in 1927. The Royals have just two goals during their FA Cup campaign this season, and have lost only 3 of their last 8 games against teams in a higher division. Now managed by Steve Clarke, the side is coming into the match 2-4-7 in their last 13 Championship games.
Arsenal are coming into the game having won 8 consecutive games in the Premier League. This is also their record 28th FA Cup semi-final, where they are 18-9 in their previous 27 games. Arsene Wenger also have only lost 1 game to lower division competition in his 38 career FA Cup matches in charge of Arsenal. The Gunners have also won all 12 of their previous matches against Reading.
Prediction: Arsenal are too good a squad to squander their chance at another trophy.
Reading 1-3 Arsenal