BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Head coach Arsene Wenger of Arsenal reacts to his players during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Well, it's really coming down to it now, isn't it? Barcelona seems like it just finished, and now, oh look, Arsenal travel to Old Trafford, where they haven't managed a win since...September 2006 (Emmanuel Adebayor, anyone?) to face Manchester United in the sixth round of the FA Cup. It's the first time the teams have faced each other in the competition since February 2008, when a weakened Arsenal were well beaten 4-0 at Old Trafford.
That is all ancient history, now, though, of course. What matters now is that Arsenal pick themselves up from the events of midweek and put in a good showing up north. It's down to two competitions now, fixture congestion is clearing up some, and with a two week break looming on the horizon, there is perhaps a little room to really go for it this weekend.
The injury news, though, is not particularly good. Captain Cesc Fabregas will miss two matches with a hamstring recurrence, Thomas Vermaelen is still indefinitely out, Alex Song's knee is no good yet, Theo Walcott is still out with his ankle problem, and Wojciech Szczesny is set to miss six weeks with a dislocated finger.
This last is particularly worrying, of course, because Arsenal are down to exactly one healthy senior goalkeeper: Manuel Almunia. Vito Mannone could be recalled, but he is injured himself for the next six weeks. James Shea is the closest Arsenal have to a second keeper as of right now, but he's on loan at Southampton, and he's 19. Therefore, Arsène Wenger has said that the need for an emergency keeper is severe.
United, for their part, aren't much better off. Nani is a strong doubt with a gashed leg; Park Ji Sung and Anderson are both doubts as well. Antonio Valencia, Jonny Evans, and Rio Ferdinand are also strong doubts.
Possible lineup (4-2-3-1): Almunia; Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy; Denilson, Wilshere, Nasri; Arshavin, van Persie, Bendtner.
[Ed. note: I suppose Rosicky could be in there, but man, he looks wiped out. I miss the old Rosicky].