Friday, November 21, 2008

Arsenal preview

The start of a very big couple of weeks for us with two important games in the league, with the UEFA fixtures that will almost certainly decide if he we progress to the knock-out stages.

First up is Arsenal at home, which in previous years has often filled us with dread at the expectation of a heavy defeat. This season though, they come into the fixture on the back of another defeat (having lost as many Premier League games this season already as they did in the whole of 2007/08), Theo Walcott's injury and William Gallas's latest example of how not to inspire your colleagues as captain.

Arsenal have been sublime at times this season, but woefully inconsistent on other occasions, and I do think we can get at them this weekend. I don't think there midfield has recovere from the loss of Flamini or Hleb, and whilst Nasri has promise too much is on Fabregas's shoulders at the moment. They are always likely to score goals (which is not a welcome prospect for our leaky defensive crew at present), but defensively are allowing goals and have Toure missing.

Midfield wise we are in fine form at the moment, with Stephen Ireland displaying the form of his career this season and Robinho settling in perfectly. Out of favour Elano looked good for Brazil in the week but arrives back late before the game so Hughes may well continue his recent policy of Vassell and Benjani to supplement Robinho.

Richard Dunne will likely return to the centre of defence in place of Ben Haim amidst growing disquiet, whilst although Joe Hart's injury is not as bad as first feared he will not feature.

I do have a quiet air of confidence about this game and we really do need to start to produce in the Premier League given the talent we have, and I'll take us to come away with the points with a 2-1 victory.

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