So, the day that we all have been waiting for has finally arrived, the day which hopefully will be the start of a new era, the day which hopefully will be start of many great things to come and the day where we will hopefully end our almost six years wait for a trophy.
I know, it sounds all dramatic but still you cannot deny the importance of today’s game. It won’t be wrong in saying that this game will define the rest of our season. Everyone including the players are pumped up for this. We have done all the hard work and today is the day to get the reward for it. This is the final hurdle in this competition that we have to cross and hopefully all our hard work will bear fruit in the shape of a trophy and more will follow when this season comes to an end.
On paper this looks like a game that we will win easily and hopefully we will after what we did to them in the New Year. However, it is a Cup final and Birmingham surely won’t go down without a fight. They themselves will be looking for a trophy of their own and you can expect a very tight game and a match that will go till the very end.
Birmingham’s tactics will be clear. They will hold their lines and try to frustrate us as they know they can’t win by playing football against us. They will rely much on set pieces and counters. They have players that can play dirty and we will have to be wary of them.
As for us, we will have to start with a high tempo and look for an early goal or two. If we play the way we approached the game against them in January, this game will be easy. Possession again will be the key as we will have to remain focused and resilient through the 90 minutes. Our team will have to defend well because a goal for them is going to increase their confidence.
As for the starting eleven, Wenger will need to select the best possible options because today there is no room for mistakes.
The backline and the keeper for me all pick themselves up.
It however becomes tricky in the middle. Will Diaby be a wise enough choice to start with? Who will play the Fabregas role? I have been thinking about two line ups. One consists of Wilshere in the play making role with Song and Diaby, if he is 100 percent fit, behind him. The second option is to play Nasri in the Fabregas role and with Song and Wilshere in support. Wilshere and Song are the key to our midfield today and we will need both of them to play their best games. I prefer to start with Song, Diaby and Wilshere in the middle.
Nasri to start on the right and Arshavin on the left with Van Persie to lead the attack and also the team.
If, however, Nasri starts in the Fabregas role; I will then bring in Rosicky on the right. Many will prefer Bendtner due to his performance against Stoke but I have my doubts about him on the flanks. He plays better in the lone striker role.
So my starting XI would be: Szczesny, Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy, Song, Wilshere, Diaby, Nasri, Van Persie, Arshavin
And please Arsene just don’t start with Denilson and Almunia.
I won’t make any predictions for a fear of jinxing it. A win by any means is necessary today because anything but a win today is going to be critical for us. I just don’t want to think about anything else.
My everything is telling me that we will win this for sure so I have everything crossed for this one. Do so yourself and have a great day and hopefully we will all have a night to remember. Go Arsenal, we are all behind you!!
p.s. I hope the referee doesn’t spoil the game with incompetent or biased refereeing. With Mike Dean you can expect the worst.