Back to Premiership as we face Newcastle at the Emirates tomorrow. We have beaten them already this season but we all know they can be a pain in the backside. And considering our midweek match let’s hope complacency doesn’t become a factor in this one.
In team news we have Fabregas, Song, Denilson and Arshavin all back in the squad. Wilshere is also in the squad as he returns from his three match ban. Diaby, Van Persie, Gibbs, Vermaelen and Almunia are still out injured.
So the back line is going to remain the same except for the addition of Koscielny and Sagna for Djourou and Eboue from midweek. The midfield shall see the return of Fabregas and Song and Wilshere is going to retain his place. Up front Bendtner is going to be replaced by Chamakh and I feel Walcott is going to start. So either one of Nasri or Arshavin to start on the left. I am going with Nasri.
So Probable starting XI: Fabianski, Sagna, Squillaci, Koscielny, Clichy, Wilshere, Fabregas, Song, Walcott, Chamakh, Nasri.
Looking at the team, we can easily get the three points but you can never be sure. Newcastle knows how to adapt to games. They are a very unpredictable team. They can play the long balls as well as pass it along on the ground. They can be physical and use the aerial threat to their advantage as well as create goals by passing. They can score a lot of goals up front and can concede a lot at the back too.
It all however depends upon how we play. We would have to be at our best and keep the possession. Our back line will have to deal with the long balls. If the starting lineup is as the above one, Song would have to remain close to the defenders. Our midfield players will have to cover up for each other as all like to go forward. Here I feel Wilshere has a major role to play. He can pass the ball around well while staying deep and he can sustain the physical pressure if Song ventures forward a lot.
The second ball can be problem tomorrow if we do not stick to the basics. We have to keep it tight at the back and clear away any loose balls in our area. If our midfield stays close to the defence when under attack then I don’t see many problems. Clichy will have to be at his best as I feel his flank is going to be attacked the most.
Upfront we will have to take our chances and try to get an early goal. Walcott’s pace will have to be utilized as we did against them in the Carling Cup. If we can open up Newcastle early than it will be an easy match. The more we delay the more Newcastle is going to get confident.
Chelsea is facing Liverpool later tomorrow so a win is a must to put pressure on Chelsea. Hopefully the gap at the top will be reduced.
Keep the faith!