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Bayern crunch won’t distract: Flamini

JONES-FLAMINILONDON, March 7 – Mathieu Flamini insists Arsenal will not be distracted by next week’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich when they face Everton in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

Arsene Wenger’s side will attempt to overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit when they travel to the Allianz Arena just three days after facing Roberto Martinez’s side at the Emirates Stadium, with a Premier League meeting with Tottenham to follow next weekend.

But French midfielder Flamini is adamant the Gunners can cope with the intense schedule and maintain their challenge in all three competitions.

And he knows the FA Cup presents a good opportunity for the club to claim silverware for the first time since 2005.

Among Arsenal’s rivals for the Premier League title, only Manchester City remain in the cup and face a re-run of last season’s final with Wigan the day after Wenger’s team take on Everton.

“The FA Cup is another title, it’s another objective,” Flamini said.

“You know Arsenal has been looking for a title for so long. We’re fighting for every single one. I’m talking of course about the Premier League, I’m talking about the Champions League.

“Even though we know it’s not going to be easy but we’ll go over there to Germany, we’ll have nothing to lose and we’ll give everything.

“The FA Cup is also one of the objectives so we have to play this game at 100 per cent and with the quality in this team I’m sure we’ll have enough players to play for all the competitions.

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“We know it will be a difficult game, especially three days before the Champions League. But if you are a top team, you have to accept this.”

– Arsenal hit by Wilshere injury –

Arsenal’s hopes of delivering success have been hit by the loss of Jack Wilshere for around two months after the midfielder fractured a bone in his foot while on international duty with England this week.

Everton manager Martinez believes his side will take heart from their draw at the Emirates in the Premier League as they attempt to reach the last four of the FA Cup.

Gerard Deulofeu cancelled out Mesut Ozil’s goal as Everton secured a 1-1 draw against Wenger’s team in December.

It came just days after Everton had picked up a win at Manchester United in the Premier League and Martinez feels the two results are a big indication about the progress his side has made.

However, the Spaniard is still wary of meeting the Gunners despite Wenger’s side losing at Stoke last weekend.

“It’s a glamorous tie and we’re all looking forward to it,” Martinez said.

“There’s never a good or bad time to face a good team. We admire the team they are and how they play immensely.

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“They had a disappointing result last week but that doesn’t change anything. We need to replicate our performance at the Emirates earlier in the season.

“We’re two teams with similar footballing concepts and from our point of view it’s a case of making sure we are effective in front of goal.”

Everton defender Phil Jagielka is a major doubt with a hamstring problem that kept him out of England’s 1-0 win over Denmark in midweek.

Lacina Traore, Darron Gibson, Arouna Kone and Bryan Oviedo are also all absent for the Toffees.

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