Mikel Arteta expects Wigan Athletic to "play for their lives" at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.
Roberto Martinez's side lifted the FA Cup on Saturday after a shock win over Manchester City and some feel they will suffer a comedown after their Wembley high when they take on Arsenal.
Arteta is not among them. With Wigan chasing the points that could yet preserve their Premier League status, the Arsenal midfielder is bracing himself for a severe test against fired-up opponents.
"You never know what the reaction is going to be," Arteta told Arsenal Player. "You're not used to winning so you don't know what the reaction is going to be because you can't really compare with the past and the way they reacted.
"They will play for their lives. For them it's massive to stay in the Premier League. I'm sure they will give everything they've got. I don't know how much they've got in the tank but whatever they've got, they are going to give it. They are a dangerous team as they showed here last year when they played against us."
Last year's corresponding fixture ended in a 2-1 win for Wigan - and a convincing win at that.
"That's why we know that we are facing a very difficult game against a good side," said Arteta. "They've been playing very well [recently] and I don't think they've been rewarded with points when they've deserved them.
"It's going to be tough. I think everyone - the staff and the fans - have to be ready to help tomorrow. For us it's massive."
Copyright 2024 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.