Arsenal boss Wenger not feeling the pressure against Man City

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists he is excited about a "special opportunity" rather than feeling the pressure ahead of the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.

The Gunners face Pep Guardiola's men at Wembley on Sunday as they bid to take the penultimate step towards winning a third cup crown in four years.

Wenger is under intense pressure from supporters with his contract due to expire at the end of the season and Arsenal sitting down in sixth in the Premier League.

But Wenger says he felt under more strain in 2014, when Arsenal were hoping to end a nine-year trophy drought, and stresses league form will count for nothing against City.

"In 2014 it was special pressure," Wenger told reporters.

"We had not won a trophy for a long time. People questioned us about winning a trophy. 

"This time, there is special opportunity. It is really a 50-50 game. If you ask the neutrals, maybe they will say City are favourites.

"It is a different competition [to the league]. Every competition brings a psychological atmosphere.

"We have seen many times teams not doing well in the championship and suddenly they are playing very well when it is a different competition. 

"They don't carry the negative vibes of bad experiences in this competition."

The match will be a record 11th FA Cup semi-final for Wenger, who is eyeing a seventh triumph in the competition - also a record.

"I'm very proud because you have many strong managers in England for many periods," Wenger said of his FA Cup achievements.

"It is not easy to do. I always thought the cup is special. The championship is more of a marathon and this is more condensed and a quicker reward.

"When I was a kid, I watched the games at Wembley on television. It is still massive and what is great at Wembley is that you see your fans coming in and it is a unique experience for them and their children in life that they never forget."

Wenger insists he has not thought about the prospect of playing the final against rivals Tottenham, who face Chelsea in Saturday's semi.

"No, not at all," he said. "If we had played a Championship team, I would honestly say yes, but because we play City, I don't think about it like that.

"It would be absolutely stupid to speculate. Let's first deal with City and see what happens there."

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