Arsenal travel to the South Coast to take on Gus Poyet’s Brighton as Arsene Wenger’s men continue their search for a first major trophy since 2005. The Gunners will be favourites against the Championship outfit but will no bout be wary following their defeat to Bradford City of League 2 in the quarter finals of this season’s Capital One Cup.
Arsene Wenger has usually chosen to rotate his side for the cup competitions but may be tempted to keep faith with the same starting XI that blitzed West Ham by a 5-1 scoreline in midweek. However, one would expect fringe members of the squad such as Carl Jenkinson, Andre Santos and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to be handed starts. Mikel Arteta remains absent with a calf injury while captain Thomas Vermaelen is sidelined with an ankle neck. Abou Diaby (thigh) and Tomas Rosicky (calf) are also fit to take their place in the matchday squad.
The hosts are sweating on the fitness of Spanish defender Bruno, who faces a late fitness test on an achilles injury. Ex-Valencia winger Vicente, who lined up against Arsenal for the Spanish giants in the Champions League 10 years ago is set to start while recently signed striker Leonardo Ulloa could be handed a debut for the Championship side, who saw off Premier League opposition in the form of Newcastle in the last round.
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