Arsenal vs Wigan preview: Will snow become a factor? and starting line up!

November 30, 2010

Tonight we face Wigan at home in the Carling Cup, if the heavy snow doesn’t lead to a postponement of match. Wigan is not doing well in the league but it is a Cup tie and anything can happen.

Wenger has already said that he will be fielding a strong team with some changes.

Therefore, for me Szczesny to start in goal in place of Fabianski. Not because Fabianski is not playing good but because Szczesny needs to play games. In defense as Squillaci is out so Djourou to return and Koscielny to retain his place. Eboue has recovered but I don’t see him playing. Therefore, Sagna to start on the right flank and Gibbs on the left to give rest to Clichy.

In midfield Nasri to take the central role as Rosicky has featured in the last two games and he will be needing rest. Wilshere needs to have a rest too so Song starts again with Denilson in the holding role.

Upfront Chamakh deserves a break so either of Van Persie or Bendtner to feature. Van Persie needs to get match fitness but I don’t see him starting. He may come on as a substitute. As for Bendtner, who hasn’t yet put words to action, he may get another chance to start. Walcott and Vela to start on the wings.

Probable team: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou, Gibbs, Denilson, Nasri, Song, Walcott, Bendtner, Vela.

Notice that with seven changes, from the last starting XI, the team still looks strong as Wenger said.  

So it is another game at home. Today we have an opportunity to get back to winning ways at the Emirates. With our home record not good at all, Wigan will fancy a chance but I believe we will overcome them in style. But for that we would need to play with desire and conviction throughout the match.

I am expecting a win for us and if we can keep a clean sheet it would be good. I hope the team doesn’t show complacency today.  

The snow might become a factor today. The match may get cancelled or else the pitch will be very slippery if the match is played as scheduled. Extra efforts will be required to make things happen if it’s played in snow. Let’s hope that the weather doesn’t play a significant role today.

Thoughts!


Eboue recovers, Squillaci out, Wenger yet to decide on Van Persie, Leeds in FA Cup and Ramsey appears for Forest.

November 30, 2010

Eboue: Has made a quick recovery

Coming to matters at hand, Wenger has given away the injury news ahead of Wigan’s match tomorrow. Emmanuel Eboue, who was last week judged to be out for at least four weeks due to a knee injury, has made a remarkable comeback. He had a swollen knee but his ligament was intact. The latest tests reveal that he has recovered.

“Emmanuel Eboue is back in the squad much quicker than planned. When we made a scan his knee was swollen but the ligament was intact so we decided to push him back as quickly as possible and the tests were successful.”

Fabregas: 'Couple of weeks away'

Squillaci: Suffered a knee injury

Cesc Fabregas on the other hand is on his course to recovery. It will be 10 to15 days’ at least before he will be fit. Squillaci on the other hand has a suffered a knee problem from Villa’s game. Rest of the squad is available as it was on Saturday.

“Cesc is still out. He has ten more days or two weeks maximum. Sebastien Squillaci has a knee problem from Saturday. He is out, everyone else is available.”

Wenger has also said the he will take the tie seriously without revealing the team. He said that he will decide on who to include and who not as they have been playing football every three days for the past 6 weeks. He said that it will be a strong team with the regular players.

“I don’t want to give the team today. The only thing I promise is that we will take the tie seriously. I have to consider how many games my players play. For six weeks we have played every three days with Champions League and internationals. I will consider who needs to play and who needs to rest. But we will play with a strong team. You will see regular players.”

Van Persie: Will he play against Wigan?About Van Persie he said he has yet to decide. He said that he will speak to him on how he feels before he plays him or not.

“Van Persie? I don’t know. Do I get him a week of work or do I play him? I have to speak with him frankly to see how he feels. We will see [on] Monday.”

FA Cup third round draw: Arsenal vs Leeds

On Sunday, draws for the FA Cup third round took place. We have been drawn at home against Leeds united. The ties for the third round will be played on the weekend of 8th and 9th January. The other ties are here.

Leeds is currently at 8th place in the championships. Still they will be looking for a repeat of last season when they overcame Man Utd in the third round. They took Tottenham to a replay in the fourth round. Their manager said that it is amazing for the club and fans to be having such draws. He said that they have been giving the performances and the support they have had is really good. Yet he added that they have plenty of games before the Arsenal game and they have to focus on them as the Championship is important.

“It’s a fantastic draw. Arsenal are one of the best teams in the country and are one of the top footballing teams in Europe. I’m sure our supporters will look forward to the game and will sell the full allocation once again. After knocking Man United out in the third round last season and taking Tottenham to a replay in the fourth round, the current crop at Leeds have shown they relish the big occasion. It’s amazing when you look at the draws we’ve had and the performances and the support we’ve had. In an 18-month period, we’ve played Liverpool, Man U, Tottenham, and now Arsenal in the cups which is fantastic for the club and the fans. But…as I said before the Man U game last season, we have a lot of league games to come before then and that is our focus. The players will all want to be involved for the Arsenal game and the league games are so important to us.”

In other news, Aaron Ramsey made a first competitive appearence in a match after suffering his injury. He came on as subsitute for Nottingham Forest in a match against Leicester. They went onto lose the match but his appearence was good to see.