Arsene Wenger has warned his players not to allow any room for “bad surprises” by underestimating the threat of Ipswich at the Emirates this evening.
The Tractor Boys are struggling in the nPower Championship this season, but sprung a surprise at Portman Road a fortnight ago to take a 1-0 advantage going into the League Cup semi-final second leg. The Gunners, however, are odds-on favourites to overturn the deficit and go on to land their first trophy in six years.
According to The Press Association, Wenger said: “They will aim to protect their advantage and try to get us on the break with a direct game, as they tried in the first match. If you look at my record I think I have been consistent in my career against teams of lower divisions because I respect them and I know that they can raise their level and raise their game.
“If you are not prepared you have bad surprises. Where we are stronger is defensively as a team, but of course hopefully we can open them up.”
Gunners keen on McGregor.
The Gunners have been monitoring Scotland goalkeeper Alan McGregor and are said to be preparing a move for the Rangers stopper.
Lukasz Fabianski has established himself as a commanding presence between the sticks at the Emirates, but Arsene Wenger is believed to want to add more experience to the ranks amid belief that Manuel Almunia could be heading for the exit door this month.
Give Me Football believes that the move is “likely” for the summer as opposed to this month, but with Rangers in an unenviable financial situation they are said to be prepared to accept a reduced bid from the £7.5m being mooted at this stage.
The Guardian has also reported that Wenger has sent scouts to watch the 28-year-old, who has won seven caps for Scotland to date.
Nowhere near defender deal.
Arsenal are not interested in signing Spurs defender Jonathan Woodgate according to Arsene Wenger.
The Gunners have been reportedly searching for a new central defender after the signings of Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci have struggled to fully adapt to life in the Premier League thus far, and reports yesterday suggested their worldwide search would reach its conclusion at their north London rivals.
However, This is London reports that Wenger has denied any interest. He said: “That was not on our mind at all, completely out of the blue. I like Woodgate as a player, but we are not after him.
“We are nowhere near (signing a central defender). At the moment I am not too confident.”