Wenger voices three concerns

Arsene Wenger has pinpointed three major issues which his Arsenal side need to address when they face Sutton United in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

The Gunners will have to cope with an artificial playing surface at Gander Green Lane on Monday evening, with National League Sutton hoping to set up an all-non-league meeting with Lincoln City in the last eight of the competition.

Wenger is also wary of the commitment he expects from the Yellows, who knocked out Leeds United in the fourth round, while also warning that his own players have to be mentally up for the challenge.

He told reporters: "(My concerns are) first of all the pitch, secondly their enthusiasm. Thirdly that we are not ready mentally for a big fight and think subconsciously that it doesn't matter.

"Ideally we would like to play on a normal pitch. Competition is as well to deal with what you face and we'll face an unusual pitch and we'll have to deal with it.

"We practiced inside (on Friday) because we have an artificial pitch. It's not the same as it's a dry pitch and at Sutton I've heard that's a wet pitch, they water it before the game.

"So it will be much quicker than what we have."

Wenger has also confirmed that fit-again striker Danny Welbeck will not feature against Sutton, as he does not want to risk the England international on the artificial surface of the non-league outfit.

The Gunners are 10/1 to win 1-0 in normal time at Gander Green Lane, while they are 11/2 to triumph 2-0 and 11/2 to secure a 3-0 victory in 90 minutes.

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Mourinho bemoans busy period

Jose Mourinho believes that former club Chelsea will have a major advantage when they face Manchester United in the sixth round of the FA Cup.

The Red Devils face a busy fixture schedule before they head to Stamford Bridge to take on the Blues on the second weekend in March.

United have Europa League commitments and a League Cup final to contend with in the coming weeks, as well as their Premier League fixtures, while Chelsea have only league matters to focus on.

And Mourinho thinks that the Blues have few worries, as he is of the opinion that the Londoners have all but wrapped up the Premier League title already.

He said after seeing United edge past Blackburn Rovers 2-1 at Ewood Park in the fifth round of the FA Cup: "Probably Chelsea can only think about that (the FA Cup), because I think they are champions and they have nothing else to fight for.

"The FA Cup is something I believe is important for them.

"I have to play St Etienne (on Wednesday), I have to play the (League Cup) final, I have to play hopefully another opponent in the Europa League. I have to fight for a top-four position in the Premier League.

"I have so many things to think about."

Mourinho also has to try and end a run of poor results for United against the Blues in recent meetings, with Chelsea unbeaten in ten clashes since a 3-2 home league loss to the Red Devils in October 2012.

The top-fight encounter between the two teams at the Bridge earlier this season ended in a 4-0 win for the hosts.

United can be backed at 2/1 to reach the FA Cup semi-finals at the expense of Chelsea, who are 4/11 to make the last four, while the men from Manchester are 8/1 to lift the trophy for the second season in a row.

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Back to the Bridge for Jose

Manchester United will travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-finals next month.

Jose Mourinho heads back to west London having steered the Red Devils past a stubborn Blackburn Rovers side on Sunday afternoon at Ewood Park.

Danny Graham put the Championship side ahead on 17 minutes but Marcus Rashford ensured parity a little over ten minutes later.

On a murky afternoon in Lancashire, the Premier League side struggled to make their class count and the Man United boss summoned Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic from the bench just after the hour.

The Swede duly scored the crucial goal 15 minutes from full-time, a 24th of the season for Ibrahimovic.

The reward for Mourinho is a return to face former club Chelsea in the last-eight at Stamford Bridge.

Manchester United are now 8/1 to win the FA Cup, while Chelsea are 1/3.

Elsewhere Spurs, 3-0 winners over Fulham on Sunday, welcome Millwall to White Hart Lane.

Giantkillers Lincoln City, the first non-league team since 1925 to make the quarter-finals, were given a dream draw as they await a trip to either fellow non-league outfit Sutton United or Arsenal in the next stage.

Manchester City or Huddersfield, who must replay at the Etihad after a scoreless on Saturday, will be travelling to the Riverside for their FA Cup quarter-final to tackle Middlesbrough.

Arsenal are 9/4 to lift the FA Cup for the third time in four years, while Tottenham are 1212/1.

All the last-eight ties will be played on the weekend of 11th & 12th March.

Full FA Cup quarter-final draw:

Chelsea v Manchester United

Middlesbrough v Huddersfield/Manchester City

Tottenham v Millwall

Sutton/Arsenal v Lincoln

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Doswell fearful of Arsenal aces

Sutton United boss Paul Doswell has admitted that his side could have no chance of springing a massive FA Cup shock against Arsenal on Monday evening.

Doswell, whose side are hoping to join fellow National League outfit Lincoln City in the sixth round of the FA Cup, admits that he fears the quality of some of the players in the Gunners' ranks.

However, he also sees reason for some hope at Gander Green Lane if the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are omitted by Arsene Wenger.

"I think if you see Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez on the teamsheet, our chance doesn't come beyond nought, but if they put another team out then it does get up to the ones and two per cents," Doswell commented.

"Our only chance is if he puts out an Under-23 reserve side out, because National League sides can compete against academy players. Then we would have a real chance.

"If we were to get a draw and we could get back to the Emirates Stadium, it would be one of the biggest results in the cup's history and for the players."

Having started in the final qualifying round, Sutton knocked out Forest Green Rovers, Dartford, Cheltenham Town and AFC Wimbledon to make it through to round four.

There they secured a superb 1-0 home victory over Leeds United, with a Jamie Collins penalty proving decisive for the Yellows.

Sutton can be backed at 12/1 to claim a draw on Monday evening, while striker Roarie Deacon, who has already netted five times in the FA Cup this season, is 11/2 to score at any time and is 22/1 to score the first goal of the game.

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Bale return delights Zidane

Real Madrid ace Gareth Bale earned a special mention from Zinedine Zidane after marking his return from injury with a goal in the 2-0 win over Espanyol.

Wales forward Bale had been sidelined for just over three months by an ankle problem, but was finally reintroduced into the action at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday evening, taking just 12 minutes to get his name on the scoresheet.

And head coach Zidane was delighted to have a key member of his squad back in action for the crucial final couple of months of the season.

He told reporters: "I'm happy to have him back. He was eager to get back playing again. When he came on, I told him to go out and enjoy himself.

"We'd discussed his position previously. He's a key player and we’re all happy, especially the player himself. Gareth is Gareth. We've only got one Gareth Bale.

"He's a special player, he's different from the rest. It doesn't look like he's been out for three months. He's very powerful, he makes the difference and that's why he is special."

Real, the reigning champions, are 5/6 to win the Champions League again this season, with Barcelona 1212/1 and Paris St Germain 1212/1.

Meanwhile, Real midfielder Isco has again made it known that he will consider his future at the end of the season, having struggled for first-team action in Madrid.

The 24-year-old played a part in both goals in the win against Espnayol, but said afterwards: "I'm calm, what worries me is to have minutes (on the field). A player's career is short.

"I'm happy here and would stay many more years, (but) we will make a decision, because my future is at stake."

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Conte cool over possible double

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has played down talk of his team being well-placed to clinch a Premier League and FA Cup double this season.

The Blues moved into the last eight of the FA Cup with a 2-0 victory over Wolves at Molineux, while the Londoners are currently eight points clear of the chasing pack in the English top-flight.

However, Conte has told his players not to look too far ahead and not get caught up in suggestions that the double is well in sight for the Stamford Bridge club.

The Italian told reporters after the win against Championship Wolves: "I think it's a little early to talk about this, but for sure we are in these two competitions. In the league we are doing a great job to stay on top of the table.

"Now, in the FA Cup, we are in the quarter-finals and I'm pleased with this because it means we're doing very well.

"We're working very well, but honestly, after this game it's important to understand that nothing is easy.

"If someone thinks that for sure in the league Chelsea will become champions and for sure we can win the FA Cup, it will be very difficult."

The Blues are back in Premier League action next Saturday when they play host to Swansea City, who have won four of their last six league games to climb out of the relegation zone.

The Swans are unbeaten in their last three meetings with Chelsea, with the meeting of the two sides at the Liberty Stadium earlier this season ending in a 2-2 draw.

A 2-2 draw next Saturday is priced at 33/1, while Chelsea are 1/250 to be crowned Premier League champions and are 1/3 to lift the FA Cup.

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Perth stay on Roar’s heels

Perth Glory came from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw with Brisbane Roar at nib Stadium.

The Glory stay two points behind fourth-placed Brisbane with seven games to go, and have now lost just once in nine games.

Kenny Lowe's side, on a high after last week's 5-0 win away to Adelaide United, fell behind this time to Jamie Maclaren's 32nd-minute effort.

Maclaren contested Thomas Broich's floated cross from the left with defender Rhys Williams, and then reacted quickest when the ball dropped to poke it home.

Nebojsa Marinkovic brought Glory level within six minutes, capitalising when Luke DeVere failed to clear his lines properly at the back. He latched onto the ball on the edge of the area and saw his shot skim off the head of Jade North on its way into the top corner.

Just three minutes later the visitors were back in front, with 17-year-old defender Dane Ingham scoring on just his second league appearance. Brandon Borrello started the move and Ingham exchanged passes with Broich before slotting into the bottom corner.

Perth took just three minutes of the second half to level, courtesy of the best move of the night. The attack featured a back heel from Diego Castro which allowed Chris Harold to find Adam Taggart for a tap-in as he registered his tenth goal in 12 starts.

Brisbane had the best chance to secure the win when Maclaren broke through one-on-one against Liam Reddy but the keeper made a good save.

Perth are 1/1 to win their next game against Western Sydney, who are 11/4 with the draw 11/4.

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City romp past misfiring Phoenix

Melbourne City put a massive dent in Wellington Phoenix's Finals Series hopes as they romped to a 5-1 win at Westpac Stadium.

It could have been very different had Wellington not wasted a golden chance to take the lead from a 15th-minute penalty.

But things rapidly went from bad to worse for the home side as Ryan Lowry put through his own net five minutes later to hand City the lead.

The Phoenix, bidding to snap a four-game winless run and get back into the top six, were soon 2-0 down and conceded three more goals in the final half-hour.

Wellington dominated the early running, and home fans anticipated a goal when Kosta Barbarouses earned a penalty. After being tripped in the area by former Phoenix defender Manny Muscat, Barbarouses took the spot-kick himself but smacked his shot against the bar.

City made the most of their reprieve, determined to reclaim their top-three spot.

Nick Fitzgerald beat the offside trap on 20 minutes and weaved his way towards goal, seeing his cut-back take a deflection off Lowry at the front post that gave keeper Glen Moss no chance.

Nine minutes later top-scorer Bruno Fornaroli doubled City's lead after a set-piece. Moss handled the ball outside the area to concede a free-kick and though Luke Brattan's delivery was mishit by Muscat it fell kindly to Fornaroli, who volleyed it home at the back post.

The points were safe when Anthony Caceres made it 3-0 with half an hour to play. Josh Rose made an overlapping run down the left wing and when he sent the ball across goal it fell to Caceres at the back post, who blasted it past Moss from close range.

Barbarouses made amends for his penalty miss when he got Wellington on the scoreboard on 70 minutes, ending a mazy run with a low shot past Thomas Sorensen.

Two goals in a five-minute spell late on wrapped up the victory for the visitors.

First midfielder Neil Kilkenny, after chipping into a dangerous area, latched onto an attempted clearance to beat Moss.

Then three minutes from time Fitzgerald's strong run ended when he picked out the run of Nicolas Colazo who produced a strong left-footed finish.

Melbourne City are 19/10 to win their next game against Sydney FC, who are 7/5 with the draw 5/2.

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Pep plays down Kompany absence

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola has played down the severity of the problem which caused Vincent Kompany to miss the FA Cup clash with Huddersfield Town.

The 30-year-old Belgium central defender has suffered a catalogue of injury problems in recent times, but had been expected to feature against the Terriers in their fifth-round meeting.

However, after seeing his side held to a goalless draw by the Championship promotion hopefuls, Guardiola was calm about a minor leg problem.

He told reporters: "Kompany was not able to play today, but it is not a big issue."

Meanwhile, Guardiola was also content with the performance of his much-changed side, despite them now needing a replay to try and reach the last eight of the FA Cup.

He added: "It was a cup game against one of the best teams in the Championship and we know how difficult it is to play teams in the Championship away.

"They are a really, really good team, but we made a good performance, especially in the first half when we created many chances to score a goal.

"They had good spirit, but (my) players did absolutely everything and when that happens I have no complaints."

The Citizens are back in action on Tuesday evening when they play host to Monaco in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie.

The two sides have never previously met in a competitive fixture, but Monaco arrive in England in good heart, having topped Group E and helped to knock Spurs out of the competition.

A 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday is priced at 13/2, while City are 13/8 to keep a clean sheet and 15/2 to win the game 1-0.

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Jose: Pogba will prove his worth

World record signing Paul Pogba will eventually prove to be something of a bargain according to Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

The 23-year-old France international midfielder has earned mixed reviews since his big-money return to Old Trafford from Juventus last summer, but Mourinho has no doubts that Pogba will eventually show just what he is capable of.

The Portuguese said ahead of an FA Cup fifth round trip to Blackburn Rovers on Sunday: "Right now when he plays well, which he does many times, people think it is normal and when he does not perform quite so well, pundits and even supporters go strong on him.

"I am really happy with what he has been doing for us. He gives us an incredible balance and he is still very young.

"He starts build-ups from the back, he recovers the ball and at the top of the pitch he is a guy that can score goals. He can be fantastic and I think in a couple of years you will realise he was cheap.

"I think next summer will bring a few surprises at this level and probably Paul will lose his status as the world's most expensive player, which will be a good thing."

United are currently in sixth place in the Premier League table, but are only two points off a top-four spot, having not lost in the top-flight since a 4-0 mauling at Chelsea in late October.

They can be backed at 1000/1 to finish on the top four come the end of the season, with Liverpool priced at 1/10 and Tottenham Hotspur available at 1/1000.

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