Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has promised to field a strong side as his team begin their hunt to a third successive FA Cup title with a 3rd Round clash against Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
The Frenchman insists that as defending champions, Arsenal have a responsibility to field a full-strength team against Sunderland tomorrow despite Sam Allardyce's admission he could field a weakened team.
The Sunderland boss earlier this week insisted that with a midweek relegation clash with Swansea on the horizon, he plans to rest most of his senior players for the third round tie at the Emirates.
“Of course, being holders gives us extra responsibility. We won it twice in the last two years. We want to stay in the competition and do it again if it’s possible.
“The FA Cup is a great competition. We take care of this competition like everybody does. Everybody dreams of winning the FA Cup," Wenger said at Friday's press conference monitored by Completesportsnigeria.com.
The Frenchman had earlier revealed that forward Alexis Sanchez will not feature in Saturday's game although Mikel Arteta could play some part in the game.
"There may be some priorities at some stage of the season for some clubs who think they are in trouble (against injuries) and have to make these kinds of decisions, so they choose. We don’t because we have a big squad and we feel we are equipped to deal with all the competitions.
“We just this week had the semi-finals of the League Cup. The teams gave absolutely everything. I saw Everton against Manchester City and it was a top-class game. That’s what you want – the teams to commit. At our level, you do not choose when you commit and when you don’t.
Wenger also rubbed it in as he flaunts his FA Cup credentials with the Premier League title continuing to elude the Gunners for a decade.
“This is a serious competition. I’ve won the FA Cup six times – that means I take it seriously. In the whole history, nobody won it more. That means as well that it’s not so easy to win it.
The Arsenal-Sunderland game kicks off 4pm Nigerian time on Saturday.