FA Cup semi-final: Wigan v Arsenal match preview

A look ahead to this weekend's fixture at Wembley

Wigan arrive at Wembley for the third time in two seasons, hoping to maintain their astonishing FA Cup record. The Championship side have not lost in the competition since January 2012, during which time they have beaten Manchester City twice.

Arsenal, meanwhile, see the cup as their last chance this season to end Arsene Wenger’s nine year trophy drought. In 2005 they lifted this trophy at Cardiff, beating Manchester United on penalties, but have been unable to replicate that form since the competition moved back to Wembley, where they have lost on both their visits.

All the pressure is on the Gunners, something that Uwe Rosler is keen to remind them, while Wigan know that even if they lose they could be back at Wembley in the play-offs.

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 5.07pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

Arsenal 4 (Podolski x 2), Walcott, Ramsey) Wigan 1 (Maloney), Premier League, May 2013

Wigan 0 Arsenal 1 (Arteta pen), Premier League, December 2012

Arsenal 1 (Vermaelen) Wigan 2 (Di Santo, Maloney), Premier League, April 2012

STATS…

Arsenal and Wigan have never met in the FA Cup, at any stage.

Last year’s FA Cup win was Wigan’s first ever major trophy, after over 80 years.

Wigan haven’t lost in their previous 12 FA Cup games

The last time Arsenal won at Wembley was 1999, when they beat AIK Solna in the Champions League group stage. They have never won at the new stadium.

This is Arsenal’s 27th FA Cup semi-final, a record they share with Manchester United. They have won 17 of the previous 26.

The last three times that Sheffield United have reached the FA Cup semi-finals, Arsenal have gone on to win the cup.

CLASSIC MATCH – Arsenal 4-2 Wigan May 7 2006

Arsenal went into the last ever game at Highbury knowing that they needed to win, and hope that rivals Spurs did not, to secure Champions League football. They seemed to be on course when Robert Pires scored first, but Wigan responded quickly to go 2-1 up. Enter Thierry Henry. The Frenchman scored a hat-trick to sign-off from the old stadium in style, sinking to kiss the turf after scoring his third. When news filtered through that an illness hit Tottenham had lost to West Ham, the party began. 

ODDS…

Wigan to win: 6.5

Arsenal to win: 1.44

Draw: 4.3

TV: Live on ITV 1 at 5.07pm, highlights on ITV1 at 11.45pm

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