Date: 26th February 2011 at 9:07am
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On Sky

Almost 6 years since we were mauled, yet not beaten in Cardiff. Almost 6 years since Vieira hit the side netting. This Arsenal team is almost at a breakthrough, and tomorrow could be the catalyst.

Vital Quotes:

Wenger talked about the weight of the trophy drought: “To win this trophy would give us a lift,” said the Frenchman at his press conference on Friday.”

“There is a weight on the team at the moment. We have to deliver trophies because we have not won any. “

“I`m not the only one for whom that is important. There`s the players` feelings too. They say: ‘Ok, we want to win a trophy to show you we can win one`. And I believe to win would give us a lift for the rest of the season.”

Arsenal Team News:

Obviously everyone already knows the big news. Cesc Fabregas will not play. With so many important games left to play, it is too much of a risk to play him. Theo Walcott also will be out, as an ankle sprain will keep him sidelined for several weeks. Good news though that van Persie, Koscielny, and Diaby are back in the squad.

Possible Starting XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy, Song, Wilshere, Rosicky, Arshavin, Nasri, van Persie

Player to watch: Jack Wilshere

Not a hard one to pick here. Without Cesc, Jack will have to carry at least a good chunk of the creative load. Just ask the boss: ‘Our game goes naturally through Fabregas. When he`s not there, it will go more through Wilshere. “ You can’t see it bothering the nineteen year old, especially after that performance against the big-mouthed Catalonians. Hopefully we see Wilshere’s best Arsenal DNA shine through tomorrow.

Birmingham Team News:

Former Gunner Alex Hleb is a doubt for this one, while another former player, David Bentley, is cup-tied after playing in the 4-1 spanking we gave Spurs at White Hart Lane in the 3rd round. Curtis Davies is also cup-tied, while Scott Dan is out for the season.

Possible Starting XI: Foster, Carr, Johnson, Jiranek, Ridgewell, Larsson, Ferguson, Gardner, Bowyer, Zigic, Martins

Player to watch: Nikola Zigic

Birmingham will look to play the long balls up to the giant. No surprise there. Failing to deal with this is often a big criticism of Arsenal, so it’s a nice opportunity to put these claims to bed and win a tropy.

Match Facts & Stats

Mike Dean is the head official for tomorrow’s cup final. Yay. Not.

Match Prediction:

Who wouldn’t be nervous going into a cup final without your best player? I believe in our other players though, and I feel it’s about damn time we won something. A nervy 3-1 to the Arsenal.

Next Fixtures:

2/3 (Wed) – Leyton Orient (h) – FA Cup

5/3 (Sat) – Sunderland (h) – Premier League