A trip to a stadium like the Emirates is usually a third-round dream for clubs in the lower reaches of the football pyramid, so to be making the trip with only 90 minutes separating them from Wembley will be scarcely believable for these Lincoln players.
The Imps have already written themselves into modern-day FA Cup history by getting this far for the first time in their 133-year existence, while they are the first non-league side to make it into the quarter-finals since 1914.
Of course, Saturday poses their biggest challenge yet and it is not one many realistically expect them to overcome, with 88 league places separating the two sides.
However, Lincoln, who were knocked out in the first round by Whitehawk last season, have made a habit of upsetting the odds in this year’s competition, eliminating Championship opposition in the form of Ipswich Town and Brighton & Hove Albion – the latter of whom could well be a Premier League team next season – before stunning Burnley at Turf Moor in the last round.
The magnitude of the win over Burnley should not be understated simply because the Clarets are not as glamorous opposition as the likes of Arsenal. Sean Dyche’s side have amassed as many points at home as Arsenal in the Premier League this season, and they named a strong side for the match too.
By manager Danny Cowley’s own admission, Lincoln would only win this fixture once in a thousand attempts, but the stars may well have aligned for them considering the turmoil Arsenal seem to be in at the moment. Indeed, Arsenal legend and former record goalscorer Ian Wright believes that it is the worst period in the club’s history.
While such apocalyptic statements may be a little over-dramatic, the form book certainly gives Lincoln more encouragement than they may have otherwise had, and the Imps themselves are in the winning habit having picked up eight victories during an ongoing 10-match unbeaten streak.