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November 18, 2018

Wenger should start Walcott in today's FA Cup final against Villa

Arsenal's Theo Walcott and his son Finley during the Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion Barclays Premier League at Emirates Stadium - 24/5/15 Reuters / Eddie Keogh
Arsenal's Theo Walcott and his son Finley during the Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion Barclays Premier League at Emirates Stadium - 24/5/15 Reuters / Eddie Keogh

Arsenal Vs Aston Villa, Tonight 7:30pm

My Prediction: Gunners....3 Villa....2

 

It’s finally D-Day for the Gunners who hope to become the first team to win 12 FA Cup titles. Yes we are on the brink of a record and that makes me proud to be a Gunner.

On paper, this would be a very simple game for Arsenal if Arsene Wenger was wise in his team selection. We as fans have been begging the Frenchman to start Theo Walcott in league matches since the English man came back from injury months ago, but Wenger has been using his as a sub.

We clearly saw last Sunday what Theo is capable of and it wasn’t a surprise to me at all. That is the type of player he is. He has speed, control and the football brain he was once accused of not having.

And he plays best as a central striker. But Wenger is likely to bring his “illegitimate child” Olivier Giroud to start in that position ahead of Walcott. Giroud isn’t altogether bad but I feel his goals are more by chance than design.

Arsenal also need to ensure our defence is as tight as possible here. We’ll be up against the likes of Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbanlahor, who can score goals from no-where. This is a cup final that will not be easy to win, much as I’ll mouth off on social media that this is a given for the Gunners; It isn’t. Villa finished the season in 17th spot, just above the relegation zone and a win here today will mean the world to them.

They beat Liverpool in the semi-finals to get here but any team can beat the current unmotivated Liverpool squad. The Gunners 3rd place finish was ok but the season will truly be defined by the outcome of this game.

While 90,000 fans will watch the game in Wembley Stadium, the match is expected to attract a television audience of half a billion. I would love to say I will be one of those half a billion but unfortunately, I’ll be in a flight to Washington DC and will miss the match. That is the saddest thing ever for me. But I trust my fellow Gunners will stay glued to the screen and cheer at the final whistle as the Gunners make FA Cup history.

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