Wenger concerned by artificial pitch in FA Cup clash

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The Arsenal manager says his players must adapt to the unfamiliar surface as they face Sutton United in the fifth-round fixture.

Arsene Wenger is worried about the artificial pitch Arsenal must navigate in the Gunners' fifth-round FA Cup clash with Sutton United on Monday.

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The Gunners will face the fifth-tier side on a 3G surface at Gander Green Lane after Sutton United ousted Dartford, Cheltenham Town, AFC Wimbledon and Leeds United in the cup competition.

Arsenal, who defeated Preston North End and Southampton to reach the fifth round, are coming off a 5-1 defeat to Bayern Munich on Wednesday in their Champions League last-16 first leg.

"Ideally we would like to play on a normal pitch," Wenger told The Guardian. "But it has been accepted so ... competition is also about dealing with what you face. We face an artificial pitch and we have to deal with it."

Sutton United and Arsenal are playing for a quarter-final match-up with Lincoln City, who recorded a famous result against Burnley on Saturday.

The Gunners have trained on an artificial 3G pitch at their London Colney training centre as preparation for Monday's encounter, but Wenger doesn't expect a similar surface at Gander Green Lane.

"It's not the same because it's a dry pitch and I've heard that Sutton have a wet pitch. They water it before the game so it'll be much quicker," he said. "It means the weight on the joints is stronger, you cannot glide, you have to block every time.

"So it makes football a bit different because the ball comes to you and somebody accelerates and doesn't slow down like in a normal game, so you have to get used to the difference in speed."

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