The million dollar question after Saturday is: Will the last defeat have thought us anything? I don’t know the answer to this. In fact the answer will only be given at the end of the season because simply words don’t matter now, results do and they haven’t been going in our favor consistently. The defeat on Saturday is still hurting. The away wins against Everton and Wolves are a distant memory as we head into today’s match to redeem our lost faith, or will it?
Today we are facing Braga at their home and a win or a draw will see us qualify for the next round. A loss will make the next group match a must win for qualification.
Our squad is somewhat depleted for today with Andrei Arshavin, Clichy and Van Persie not travelling. Arshavin has been given a rest, Clichy has a back problem and Van Persie isn’t 100 percent so he has been left behind. Besides these Diaby and Vermaelen are still out. Almunia and Ramsey are with the reserve team; in fact they have started the reserve game against Wolves. Wenger was to yet to make a decision on Fabregas. The starting team therefore for me would be
Probable XI: Fabianski, Sagna, Squillaci, Djourou, Gibbs, Song, Wilshere, Fabregas, Walcott, Bendtner, Rosicky.
Fabianski to return in goal. Djourou is improving a lot and he shall a get a start today alongside Squillaci. Koscielny wasn’t spectacular against Tottenham so he should be on bench. Gibbs shall replace Clichy on the left and I hope he lasts for the whole game. Sagna on the right or if he needs a rest then Eboue to replace him.
In middle Wilshere has had his rest so he is likely to start. Song and Fabregas to retain their places. Or if Fabregas isn’t ready Nasri should start then.
Upfront Chamakh needs a breather and as Van Persie hasn’t travelled Bendtner will get an opportunity to start. Walcott to start on the right and I hope he returns to the way he was playing before the injury. Rosicky to start in place of Arshavin to complete the eleven.
The team from here looks strong but we have come to know that nothing comes easy with Arsenal. On any other day it would have been an easy game but after last Saturday you never know. Still it is a new day and we may yet be surprised. We need to be at our 200 percent best for the whole 90 minutes to come up with a win. Anything less will be bad for us and more tense times ahead.
We have beaten them before but this season we have lost against those whom we have beaten before; like Newcastle, Shakhtar and Tottenham. I am not saying anything about this match as the outcome depends on how we show up and how we play. Frankly speaking I will take a draw. We have been so inconsistent that a win won’t change much. I am being pessimistic but that’s how I have been since the derby collapse; we have massive results away from home and then we lose at home a game we are dominating.
Wenger is giving his every drop of blood for success as he said:
“I want so much for this team to win that I am giving every drop of my blood to make sure that they win. I want them to be successful because they deserve it and it hurts when you get so close as you did on Saturday and you don’t manage to do it.”
Let’s hope the team does come up with a solution because something is not right with so much inconsistency.
May be this game will start a run of games for us that will put the defeat behind. Not looking too much ahead, let’s get a result in this one.