Bruised, battered and with confidence taking a long holiday, Arsenal will look to rise from their depths of despair and spread a little cheer around amongst their fans with a win over Wigan in the FA Cup semifinals at Wembley on Saturday.
Where to Watch Live:
The game is scheduled for a 5.07 pm BST (9.37 pm IST, 12.07 pm ET) start with live coverage on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD1 in India. The action can also be watched online via live streaming in India HERE. Catch the action in the US HERE, while UK viewers can watch to the match live HERE or HERE. The match can be watched live online in the Middle East and North Africa HERE, while South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa viewers can catch the action HERE. Latin America viewers can live stream the action HERE, while the audience in Brazil can view the match HERE. The game can be live streamed by Canada viewers HERE, while Australia viewers can do so HERE.
The Gunners are the overwhelming favourites to lift the prestigious title in May, with Hull City and Sheffield United playing the other semifinal on Sunday.
However, this season has been yet another where Arsene Wenger's men have flattered to deceive -- looking on course to at least challenge for the title for much of the season, before a collapse of proportions previously unknown saw them brought back to that oh-so familiar fight - fourth place in the English Premier League.
Even a place in the Champions League for next season is now out of Arsenal's hands, following that uninspiring loss to Everton last weekend, and the only salvation that really remains is the FA Cup - win two more games, and at least the always-used "haven't won a trophy in x years" phrase will come to an end - of course the narrative will move towards "haven't won the Premier League title in x years", but then it will at least be a change.
"We've all come together as a fairly new squad and for the time we've been together we've been building ourselves up to a moment like this," midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain told Arsenal Player. "Whether it's the league, Champions League, FA Cup or League Cup.
"When people say it's been weighing on the club heavily, the players are full aware of that and we want to make that right.
"But as a group of players, the most important thing is that we've been gelling together over a fairly short period of time. Maybe two or three years, for us it's just trying to do the basics right and work together as a team to win a trophy."
Arsenal have not had an easy time of it to make it to the semifinals, topping Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton, albeit all at home, and Wenger will be wary of a bit of complacency creeping in against Championship side Wigan, even if they are the defending champions, and conquerors of Manchester City in the quarterfinals.
"We were knocked out of last season's FA Cup by Blackburn and also beaten by Bradford in the League Cup, so we know exactly what to expect from Wigan and we must be on our game to win.
"We mustn't underestimate them at all, their result against Man City shows what they are capable of. But we must look at our own game on the day, go into the match with the right mindset and give the best possible performance."
For Wigan it will be another nothing-to-lose game, with manager Uwe Rosler looking for one more big scalp.
"In many ways Arsenal's defeat at Everton last Sunday didn't help us because it puts even more pressure on Arsenal to absolutely go for it and to win a trophy this year with their Champions League place under threat," Rosler said.
"We have to make sure we stay in the game as long as possible and give ourselves a chance the longer the game goes on to get through to the final - we have to make ourselves strong opposition for the Arsenal team."
Team news: Wigan: Chris McCann and Ben Watson are definitely ruled out for the defending champions.
Arsenal: The likes of Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Abou Diaby and Laurent Koscielny remain ruled out, but Aaron Ramsey could make his first start this calendar year. Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs and Tomas Rosicky are all set to undergo late fitness tests, while Mathieu Flamini is suspended.
Expected lineups: Wigan: Carson; Perch, Boyce, Ramis, Crainey; McArthur, McEachran; McManaman, Powell, Gomez; Fortune.
Arsenal: Fabianski; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Ramsey; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski; Giroud.