Arsenal will be looking to put their Europa League disappointment behind when they face Portsmouth in the FA Cup fifth round on Monday night. The Gunners were knocked out of Europa by Olympiacos las Thursday which leaves them with just one realistic chance of a trophy this season.
Mikel Arteta said in his pre-match press briefing that he wants the players to put that defeat behind them and focus on the rest of the season ahead. The players looked tired in the loss and it will be interesting to see how the manager rotates against Portsmouth.
Pompey has lost just once in their last five matches and is third in the League One table. Arsenal is poor away from home which gives Portsmouth a chance of advancing to the quarter-finals.
Arsenal had a weekend off in the Premier League due to Manchester City’s EFL final commitments, but it is still a quick turnaround in games on the back of their Europa League clash with Olympiacos.
Arteta may well have been planning to rotate his side between games, but he will surely now name a much stronger lineup than expected as he attempts to keep the Gunners’ campaign alive.
That could mean top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang starting up top, although Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah will also be keen to start on the south coast.
Defenders Cedric Soares, Kieran Tierney, Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers and Sead Kolasinac are all nursing injuries, which could mean January signing Pablo Mari coming in for his first senior appearance.
As for Portsmouth, they are assessing the fitness of Ronan Curtis and Naylor ahead of Monday night’s match.
The pair picked up knocks in Fridays’ 3-0 success over Rochdale, but Jackett is confident both men will be fit to face Arsenal.
Christian Burgess collected his 10th yellow card of the season in the same match and must serve a two-game ban, though that does not carry over into the FA Cup.
Both teams to score @1.81