The FA Cup "a big priority" for Arsenal this season states Arsene Wenger

Published 07/01/17 

Arsene Wenger has admitted that winning the FA Cup this season remains "a big priority" for Arsenal and hinted that he will name a full-strength team at Deepdale.

Many believe that the English domestic cup competition has been devalued in recent years due to managers naming under-strength sides, instead focusing attention on the Premier League due to the increased prize money on offer.

Wenger intends to buck the trend for Saturday's third-round tie against Preston North End, however, as the Gunners go in search of a third FA Cup success in the past four seasons.

"It is a big priority for us," he told reporters. "We have shown historically that we care about it, and it is a massive competition for everybody. To win the FA Cup is always a target each year.

"We know as well that after a congested Christmas period that the third round is always a tricky game and that is why I believe it is a mental challenge for the Premier League teams to prepare well and not have a bad surprise - especially when you go to a Championship team, it is always difficult.

"It's a special occasion, a special trophy and in every single country, everybody dies to win the cup. I believe it's still the same in England. Maybe in the past it was even more important because the European Cup wasn't as important, but it's a special occasion for me."

Arsenal's Premier League title hopes have wobbled over the past month, having lost two and drawn one of their last five games to slip out of the top four altogether.

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