I agree about the cup vs the league. Arteta is trying to build and train a team and you do that by learning to play consistently week in and week out in the league. Even if our first half puts CL qualification out of reach, I think its best to focus on our league form and, of course, the Europa League.Ask, and ye shall receive. Five points out of the top four right now - albeit with most of the other clubs having one or more games in hand - and a chance to control their own destiny for a while.
What do we think about Arteta's decision to prioritize the league over the cup? I'm happy about it, to be honest - between Europe and the Premiership, that's plenty of football to be played, and having won the FA Cup last year, I'd rather see the club look to get in the habit of performing consistently rather than getting up for one-off cup matches. (Hopefully they have another round or two in Europe before they really need to play their strongest side in every match there as well.)
Benfica is a pretty tough R32 draw for that competition so I expect us to play our strongest side in those matches. Its a pretty tough Europa league group overall this year in general. You've got United, Leicester, and Spurs from England. But Milan is leading Serie A, Lille is actually tied at the top of the Ligue 1 table, and clubs like Roma, Napoli, Villarreal, Real Sociedad, and Bayern Leverkusen are all good sides. So I'm hopeful but think we'll need to be playing our best team pretty consistently and get our fair share of luck as well.