Non-league Lincoln City are hoping a strong start in Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final at Arsenal will help turn the Premier League club’s divided fan base against the home team, defender Luke Waterfall has said.
Arsenal crashed out the Champions League at the first knockout stage for the seventh year in a row this week after losing 10-2 on aggregate to Bayern Munich, with a section of the club’s fans calling for manager Arsene Wenger to resign.
Wenger has been in charge for the past 20 years and Waterfall said fifth-tier Lincoln might find unexpected support from disgruntled Arsenal supporters.
“Some Arsenal fans might be going there wanting us to win. If we start well, we might have 60,000 people behind us, not just 9,000 (travelling Lincoln fans),” the 26-year-old told British media.
Lincoln, who are the first minor league team to reach the last eight of the competition in 103 years, come up against an Arsenal side that have lost five of their last seven games.
“We will go there believing in ourselves,” Waterfall added. “We won’t park the bus, we will play our usual game. Their manager is under pressure so I would expect their big names to play.”
The two clubs are separated by 87 places in the English football ladder, with Arsenal currently fifth in the Premier League while Lincoln are six points clear at the top of National League.