With only a handful of games left of the current campaign Arsenal look certain to make top four once again and may even have shown an improvement on last season by finishing as high as second. The Gunners may have been dumped out of the Champions League quicker than they would have hoped but it has still been a very successful year.
And if they retain the FA Cup then that will be the cherry on top of their season. Of course they still must overcome Reading this weekend, however, considering that the Royals are in the Championship whilst Arsenal have been in superb form winning all of their last eight league fixtures you can see how the odds are stacked greatly in their favour.
Reading beat Bradford City 3-0 in the previous round – although they needed a replay – to reach this far in the competition but their league form has been shocking. They sit eight points above the relegation zone and notched up their last win over a month ago.
In the other semi-final areAston Villa and top four contenders Liverpool. In their two league meetings this season the Villans won at Anfield but lost 2-0 when the Reds came to their neck of the woods. Villa have greatly improved under manager Tim Sherwood but you’d still expect Liverpool to clinch it on the day. That would set up an exciting final between Arsenal and Liverpool which is surely the match most neutrals would like to see.
A lot has been said about how as it is Steven Gerrard’s final season with Liverpool after 17-years of loyal service that to win the cup would be the perfect send-off but sentiment aside I still think Arsenal should take the prize.
When the two English giants met in late December they couldn’t be separated but only two weeks ago Arsenal thrashed the Reds 4-1 so the Gunners should be full of confidence if they do indeed both make the final.
Also where Liverpool have had an inconsistent seven or so months Arsenal have steadily won games and thoroughly deserve to be sitting high up the Premier League table. They have suffered six defeats with only Chelsea and Manchester United recording less and Arsene Wenger’s men have a prolific striker putting fear into opposition defence.
The Gunners have incorporated new signing Alexis Sanchez well into their squad proving that not all foreign players need a season to settle into our league. The Chilean has scored 20 times in all competitions, though only one of those were in the FA Cup.
Even Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil who have both come under some heavy criticism have turned things around and are truly vital team members. If they all play at their best then sadly Reading have no chance of progressing and then only Liverpool will stand in their way.
Arsenal supporters will never be completely happy until they win the domestic title again but claiming their second trophy in as many years will surely buy Arsene Wenger some time. And with this high quality squad that the Frenchman has finally assembled it will only be a matter of time before the Gunners take home the main prize.