FA Cup semi-final preview

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Arsenal face Championship strugglers Reading at Wembley on Saturday in the FA Cup semi-final.

The contrast in form between the two teams could not be greater. The Gunners are on fire at the moment, having won their last eight Premier League games and 12 of their last 14 games in all competitions.

Reading on the other hand are in 18th position in the second tier and have failed to win in their last five games. In fact their last victory came in their 3-0 quarter-final victory over Bradford.

Royals boss Steve Clarke decided to rest some of his key players in Tuesday’s 1-0 home defeat against Bournemouth, but is still sweating on the fitness of Russian international striker Pavel Pogrebnyak and Chelsea loanee Nathanial Chalobah ahead of this clash.

The Gunners will be highly confident of seeing off their Championship opponents, as they have beaten the Royals in seven out of the last eight meetings in all competitions. Arsene Wenger’s side have also scored at least four goals in the last three meetings between the two.

The Gunners made it through to the semi-final with a narrow 2-1 victory over Manchester United and were immediately installed as favourites to lift the trophy.

The Arsenal treatment room has emptied out in recent weeks and a number of previously injured players have returned to training. Their only injury concerns are surrounding midfielders Mikel Arteta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with neither likely to feature.

French full-back Mathieu Debuchy, keeper Wojciech Szczesny and winger Theo Walcott may just be handed rare starts as Arsene Wenger looks to rotate his squad.

Will Arsenal record a comfortable victory over Reading?

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