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Arsene Wenger on Middlesbrough, says Wojciech Szczesny will start in goal


Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger expects a difficult game against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.

After providing one of the biggest shocks in the competition so far with an impressive 2-0 away win at Manchester City, Boro will be eager to produce more of the same at the Emirates.

But Wenger says his players are fully focused on making it through to the last eight of the competition.

"It's a big challenge but a big opportunity as well," Wenger said in Friday's press conference.

"If we qualify we are in the quarter-final and that's of course a big excitement for us to focus. We have the luck of the draw to play at the Emirates, so let's take this opportunity.

"We won't be surprised by them. At least we will not have the excuse to be surprised because they beat Manchester City in a convincing way. That is a good warning for us.

"We are at home, we have a possibility to go to the quarter-finals so we cannot be surprised by them, that's for sure. In the Championship, any team that plays at the top is a danger for any Premier League team.

"They suffered in the first half [against Manchester City] but they won the second half in a convincing way. They are well organised, play good football with good pace and they are very creative.

"You look at their recent record in the Championship and it's absolutely impressive. They're on a strong run and of course we want to stop that."

Meanwhile, the Frenchman confirmed that goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny will be in goal against Aitor Karanka's side, hinting - however - that David Ospina's regular place is not in danger.

"[Wojciech Szczesny has responded] very well," the 65-year-old said.

"He's very good in training. He responded in a very determined and focused way.

"He's ready to play. At the moment I feel I left Ospina in because he has done well but Wojciech is completely ready and has impressed in training.

"The competition is open [but] at the moment Ospina [has] played and we'll see in the future."

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Arsene Wenger, David Ospina, Wojciech Szczesny