Well I’m away for a long weekend so I thought I’d better get in my Chelsea/Arsenal preview in before it was too late – no Internet access where I’m going… but I have been told I’ll get to see the match down the Pub so it’s not all bad. Anyway, no doubt most of what I say will be totally useless by the time the match actually kicks off but I’ll try not to sound totally stupid.
It might only be Friday but there’s no shortage of animosity between Arsenal and the Russians!
Jens Lehmann has come out and said Cashley Ass Cole deserves the abuse he is likely to get from the Arsenal fans on Sunday. God I do love Jens! He does make a good point about why the hell a 25 year old needs to publish a book about his career but then again we all know Cashley is a complete idiot.
And obviously you must have seen the Cashley Cole bank notes going around t’internet at the moment. Apparently The Gooner have printed 20,000 of them so I’m sure you’ll hear about it come Sunday! You can download them and print off a few if you like by visiting this Arsenal World artcle or even at Myles’ site.
Gilberto has rallied the troops before the match at Stamford Bridge, saying:
“Thierry is very important to us because he’s the skipper. But we are doing best and have shown that we can play without him.
“Against Chelsea he might not play so we need to do our best without him and I hope we do the job well.
“Now we have another tough match against Chelsea. It won’t be easy to win the game as it’s always difficult to win at Stamford Bridge.”
I hope the team don’t dwell too much on the players who are missing and concentrate on the task ahead which shouldn’t be a problem considering the performance and result we got at Old Trafford.
With Kolo missing from suspension and Gallas looking ‘very doubtful’ for the match the fitness of Djourou is vital for Arsenal to have any sort of defensive shape. Luckily Arsene is hopeful that he will be fit enough to make it.
Personally I think Arsene is being over cautious with Gallas and he will be ready for the game on Sunday. Well, I’m more hopeful than anything because without Gallas a defence consisting of Djourou, Senderos, Clichy and Eboue is too young to cope with such a big game. If Djourou AND Gallas don’t make it then it’s not worth thinking about! Having to play Gilberto at the back would severely weaken the midfield that would most likely have to be Flamini and Fabregas which isn’t exactly imposing! Don’t be surprised if Baptista is used in some sort of capacity.
With the defence picking itself due to absentees and injuries the only question is who will play in the midfield supporting Adebayor upfront.
Fabregas and stand-in Gilberto will start in midfield (providing the latter doesn’t play at the back) and with Rosicky still injured you would bet on Hleb, Freddie and Van Persie to start.
The Dutchman started on the bench against Porto so is definitely going to start, but with both Hleb and Freddie playing the full 90 minutes (however relaxed it may have been) there might be a strong shout for either Baptista or Walcott to start, especially with Wenger saying the teenager would get his chance in Henry’s absence.
Personally I hope both Baptista and Walcott start firstly because Chelsea would not expect it and secondly Walcott’s pace is frightening! Also, Baptista is known as ‘The Beast’ so Sunday would be a decent time to show it!
I fully expect the line-up on Sunday to be:
Lehmann, Eboue, Gallas, Senderos, Clichy, Hleb, Freddie, Fabregas, Gilberto (c), Van Persie & Adebayor.
Chelsea are having selection problems of their own, with Mourinho saying that there are 9 untouchable players in his team that can’t be dropped – but Schevchenko isn’t one of them!
It was blatantly obvious Schevchenko wasn’t a Mourinho buy and Chelsea have suffered because of his inclusion in the team. So I hope he plays against us on Sunday!
Although the odds are stacked against us (6-1 with some bookies!) I honestly believe that we can get a decent result at Stamford Bridge. Call it blind faith in the team but Arsenal have shown to surprise the critics.
I’m shocking at these so I’d better leave it this time! But I think if things go our way we can leave there with all 3 points!
And if my abundance of optimism wasn’t enough for you then Arsenal’s official website used the Football Manager computer game to predict the Chelsea v Arsenal match with the Gunners coming out 2-0 winners with a double from Adebayor!
P.S. I’m sure there’s loads of spelling and grammar mistakes but it is 5am in the morning!