Should Arsenal Rest Players And Lose Against Manchester City?

This weekend Arsenal travel to Manchester to take on the blue half of the city, in a game which is important to us in terms of remaining in the Top 4, but also for Manchester City it’s a huge game because they currently sit 5 points behind Liverpool, who play on Monday night against West Ham United.

Regarding Arsenal, we currently sit in 4th place on 47 points – equal on goal difference with Chelsea but above them based the greater number of goals scored. A resurgent Manchester United, who have won 8 and drawn 1 of their 9 games under Ole Gunnar Solskjær, are two points behind us in 6th.

We are in the best league position we’ve been in so far under Unai Emery and at this stage of the season crept into the Top 4. With Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur on another level, it is essentially a 3 horse race for that last Champions League spot. So a win after this weeks football would be massive in terms of giving us a chance to finish the season in 4th.

This weekend, Chelsea host Huddersfield Town and Manchester United travel to Leicester, so you would imagine that anything less than 3 points against Manchester City would mean that we drop to 5th or even 6th.

For Manchester City, who sit 5 points behind Liverpool, a win is vital against us as they would put the pressure on the scousers. A win would put them 2 points behind and then all eyes would be on Monday night where the hope would be that Liverpool bottle it (like that have done before) and lose or draw that game.

Now, I would never hope that Arsenal lose a match, that’s obvious. But my question would be should Arsenal play their strongest team?

After the Manchester City match, our Premier League and Europa League fixtures are:

  • Huddersfield Town (A)
  • BATE Borisov (A)
  • BATE Borisov (H)
  • Southampton (H)
  • AFC Bournemouth (H)
  • Tottenham Hotspur (A)
  • Manchester United (H)
  • Wolverhampton Wanders (A)
  • Newcastle United (H)
  • Everton (A)
  • Watford (A)
  • Crystal Palace (H)
  • Leicester City (A)
  • Brighton & Hove Albion (H)
  • Burnley (A)

If you look at the Premier League fixtures, the only fixtures which you would think would be really tough games are the ones against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.

Take those games away and that leaves us with 10 winnable league games.

Consider we have struggled really badly with defensive injuries (do we have a curse?) then you would like to avoid a situation like we did in the FA Cup game against Manchester United where we couldn’t get into the game, were never in a position to win it and ended up hauling off Koscielny and Sokratis with injuries.

So is it worth rotating the squad against Manchester City, ensuring we don’t lose any more defenders or even some of our important attacking players, such as Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ramsey or Özil (hehe).

If it was up to me I would give some of the first team players a rest, especially when they’ve been through a gruelling winter schedule, and then allow them to be fresher for the remaining games in the Premier League and in Europe. This way, we give ourselves the best possible chance to secure a Champions League spot for next season either through the league or the Europa League.

But what do you think? Should Arsenal go all out against Manchester City? Or should they be conservative, rest some of their first team players and then just see what happens?

Cast your vote below and leave your thoughts in the comments section!


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5 Reasons Why Arsenal Can Overcome Bayern Munich Tonight

You must have been living under a rock if you don’t know about the disastrous first leg in Germany. Arsenal are trailing 5-1 after being bent over and royal screwed at The Allianz Arena, after actually equalising after Robben’s early goal and went into half time all square at 1-1.

Unfortunately, the second half was typical Arsenal and we ended up shipping 4 goals. But there are some reasons to be positive and believe that Arsenal can overturn this massive deficit, and they are outlined below:

1. Mesut Özil isn’t playing

After missing the Liverpool game due to “illness”, the lazy playmaker is also out of tonight’s tie with Bayern – which can only be a good thing. He pretty much strolled around in the first leg and while it was a collective collapse from the team, having a player who walks around the pitch isn’t really the best approach in a massive Champions League game.

No wonder Sanchez was angry at him.

He won’t be missed tonight and if you had to name 20 players you would want to call on to put in a fight or battle on the pitch, he wouldn’t be on there.

Without Özil we can put out 11 players who run around and give every single ounce of energy on the pitch. Except for the goalkeeper of course, I wouldn’t want him running around too much.

2. The scoreline is so ridiculous, Bayern Munich might not know what to do

Bayern would have been basking in the almighty glow of their own brilliance a couple of weeks ago, and lets’s be frank, every man and their dog knows Bayern are through. But that can work to our advantage.

If Arsenal manage to score early, or at least score twice in the first half (I know it’s a big if) then what would Bayern do? It’s not inconceivable that Bayern could start the game in defensive mode and struggle to get back into the game if the tide is turning. We came so so close against AC Milan at The Emirates once (when RVP really should have put us through) and that away goal is a life line. Bayern don’t want the game to be open so if we nick a goal or two then the whole dynamic of the match changes.

I seem to remember Monaco overturning a big deficit against Real Madrid, and Deportivo La Coruna doing the same to AC Milan (I think) in the Champions League before.

While it might be almost impossible, there is always that little chance if things go our way.

3. This could be Alexis Sanchez’s redemption

Alexis Sanchez is by far our best player and things couldn’t be any worse right now. The bust up with the manager and “senior player” (whoever that is) means that moral is rock bottom. But if Arsene Wenger can get his team selection right, and compliment the supreme talents of Alexis Sanchez, then we are a goal threat all day long.

What better way to kick start our season with a miracle win against Bayern Munich and have Alexis Sanchez at the fulcrum of that? You know this guy will sweat buckets for the shirt and if we can give him the best possible supporting cast, anything could happen.

4. Philipp Lahm is suspended

Bayern’s iconic captain is missing tonight and he is a massive part of their team. How will they cope with his absence? If Arsene Wenger can pick the right team that is the part of the pitch we can surely exploit.

5. Because Arsene Wenger’s teams can always score

Arsene Wenger is a lot of things but as consistent as our defensive frailties is our ability to score. It doesn’t matter what Arsenal game I’m watching, I know that on our day that we have the ability to score against anyone if we’re in the mood.

Arsene is a champion of attacking football and while it hasn’t been a trend of late, we are always capable of scoring. If you said to me we would create at least 10 chances tonight I wouldn’t be surprised – of course, taking them is another question.

The front line selection is vital in how we do tonight. I wouldn’t put Theo Walcott anywhere near the starting eleven as this is not a game for him. But do we go for the dynamism and pace of Alexis or the aerial threat of Giroud? Or can we start them both.

Arsene needs to really think about what our best attacking combination is and if we can get it right, anything can happen.

 

Can Arsenal Beat Everton Tonight? Here’s My Prediction!

This weekend was a decent one for Arsenal – we beat Stoke City 3-1, Manchester City lost, Liverpool only drew and Tottenham also lost by a single goal at Old Trafford.

But tonight sees us travel up to Merseyside in a game we usually struggle in. The results have been okay but it’s always a tough game up there and they always give us a run for our money.

Last year we beat them 2-0 at Goodison Park, with goals from Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck, and the season before we drew 2-2 after late, late goals from Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud to steal a point at the death. In 2014 we got mullered 3-0, and the season before that it ended 1-1. So the results have been mixed.

But what do you think? Can we beat Everton tonight?

It seems as if a win tonight would set a real marker in the title race and you just have the feeling that we might bottle it.

Prediction?

I think Everton will make it tough for us, considering how open they’ve been recently and in the process dropped silly points. They’ll be defending for their lives, especially as they know we have the ability to rip them apart when we’re on song.

I think the game will end 2-1 to Arsenal, and it’ll be very tight.

 

What’s Your Prediction for The North London Derby? Here’s Mine!

Tomorrow sees the Arsenal host Tottenham Hotspur in what will prove to be an interesting battle. Arsenal are currently second in the Premier League while Tottenham are 3 points behind in fifth. Arsenal have won 9 and drawn 1 of their last 10 games, while Tottenham have won 4, drawn 4 and lost 2 of their last 10. So the in form team of the moment are Arsenal.

But despite Tottenham and their struggles, it’s easy to forget that they’re only 3 points behind us in the league.

Anything can happen in a derby, although Arsenal’s record at home against Tottenham as we all know, is excellent.

We always manage to score in North London Derbies and with Giroud, Sanchez, Özil, Walcott and even Oxlade-Chamberlain amongst the goals of late, we shouldn’t struggle for goals.

But as they say, there’s nothing worse than playing against a wounded animal and Tottenham are that at the moment. They had a disappointing defeat at “home” in the Champions League midweek, and only picked up 3 points from their last 4 league games. So expect them to sit deep and try and get us in the break – a tactic which is Arsenal’s achilles heel.

It’s just a fact that Tottenham over the last few seasons have developed into a very good team and have certainly improved from being the great pretenders to a side which has real aspirations of winning major honours. Even though we still finished above them in the Premier League last season, they were the ones pushing Leicester City the hardest last year.

Tottenham will be hell bent on making sure they don’t lose another game and hitting us on the break will be a dangerous tactic to face. Even though Arsenal have been flying recently I just can’t see Tottenham giving us any space in behind and they will be threat on the counter attack.

For me, they will suffocate Arsenal and the game will finish 1-1.

 

Why Chelsea Are Guaranteed To Beat Arsenal Today

Not counting the Community Shield (I don’t care what you say, you can’t call that a competitive fixture) our record against Chelsea is utterly atrocious.

We’ve been pretty consistent (and don’t we know it) over the last 12 seasons, always finishing around 3rd or 5th in the table. In that time though, Chelsea have enjoyed less stability, finishing between first and tenth.

Despite Chelsea going through some tough periods (last season in particular) we still couldn’t muster a win over them. We lost twice in the Premier League last season against Chelsea, 1-0 at home and then 2-0 away.

Our last 10 results against Chelsea are as follows:

Arsenal 0 – 1 Chelsea
Chelsea 2 – 0 Arsenal
Arsenal 0 – 0 Chelsea
Chelsea 2 – 0 Arsenal
Chelsea 6 – 0 Arsenal
Arsenal 0 – 0 Chelsea
Arsenal 0 – 2 Chelsea
Chelsea 2 – 1 Arsenal
Arsenal 1 – 2 Chelsea
Arsenal 0 – 0 Chelsea

To summarise – that’s 10 games, 0 wins, 3 draws and 7 defeats.

And if you want to put the goals scored and goals against in there as well, Arsenal have scored 2 goals and conceded 17. Giving us a goal difference of -15.

Can you believe that?!

The game previous to that brilliant 10 game run was in October 2011 when Arsenal visited Stamford Bridge. Robin van Persie made John Terry look like a clown and we ended up winning 5-3 which, looking back, is one of my all time favourite games. Partly because I knew for a fact that getting results against Chelsea (in the post-Mourinho era onwards) was near on impossible.

It’s not so much that Chelsea have a hoodoo over us, it’s just that they’re a better team than we are. Even last season when Chelsea were all over the place we still failed to win a single point against them – mentally, we’re scared of Chelsea.

We couldn’t cope with the years of Didier Drogba abusing us and now the bully is in the form of Diego Costa. For some reason, we just can’t handle it against big, strong strikers who have a bit of a mean streak. We’re far too “nice” when it comes to it and would rather cry and complain instead of getting stuck in and fighting in those 90 minutes.

And it doesn’t matter that they might be having a bit of a “wobble” at the moment and seem to concede goals left, right and centre. And that we’re firing on all cylinders and all of our players seem to be hitting top form.

Because just like the sky is blue, water is wet, Yaya Toure’s agent will open his big mouth and Santa will unload his hefty sack all over your living room on Christmas Day, some things are just certain.

And another one of those is Chelsea winning at The Emirates on Saturday.