Tonight we face Partizan in a must win game to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League. It would have been an insignificant game had we done better in the previous two matches. As it stands, even if we win, we can’t be sure of topping the group as it depends on Shakhtar’s result against Braga. However, we have to do our part in the best way possible and what is to come will be dealt with when the time comes.
This is a must win game but we do have an important fixture coming after this. Will Wenger rotate or just make a couple of changes? I have a feeling that it will be a strong team with only one or two changes from Fulham. We have to go match by match and for tonight the priority is to qualify. So the team that I would like to see is:
Starting XI: Fabianski, Sagna, Squillaci, Koscielny, Gibbs, Song, Rosicky, Wilshere, Nasri, Van Persie, Arshavin.
As Djourou has been ruled out and Koscielny declared fit, so Squillaci and Koscielny are sure starters. Fabianski will also start. As we need to win this so I would start with Sagna on the right and give Gibbs a chance on the left. Clichy to have a rest. In the middle we should start with Song and Wilshere, with Song sitting deep. Or if Wilshere is to be given a rest, Denilson should be given a go. Rosicky to start in the playmaker role.
Up front it gets trickier. Wenger hinted at Van Persie’s start so I would go with him in the lone striker role. It would although be vital that he is brought into the game more as he can open up the Partizan defence. Nasri and Arshavin to flank him on either side.
We will need to take control of the game from start and then change a few players to give them a much needed rest. So it would be of utmost importance that we find early goals.
The defending today would have to be perfect. With defending, I don’t mean only the defenders but our defending as a team. We have been conceding plenty of goals that are not down to the opposition getting the better of us but due to us making some basic mistakes as a team and in some cases individually. We need to certainly put things right in defending as we are going to be facing Man Utd and Chelsea shortly.
I don’t have doubts that we will win tonight. The scores don’t matter tonight though. A win would suffice but a clean sheet will help the confidence.
Let’s just go out there and get a win. Man Utd or Barca or Real can wait…