Well Sunday marks the biggest weekend of the season so far, with Liverpool against Chelsea and of course the main event which is Arsenal versus Manchester United.
And the great thing is both teams are in sensational form.
Manchester United are top of the Premiership with a 6 point gap over Chelsea and Arsenal have really started to find their feet domestically with two comprehensive wins at Anfield and a great win against all odds at Ewood Park.
The only real fact about the team news at the moment is that Gilberto will miss the game as he will be serving a suspension for flicking at Robbie ‘Honest’ Savage. Gilberto will be a big miss as he’s possibly been our most important player this season but if we can overhaul Blackburn Rovers with 10 men then the confidence in the squad will be sky high.
I suppose the best scenario for us this weekend would be to obviously beat Manchester United (by a good few goals) and I’m still undecided about the Chelski match. If Liverpool win we won’t be able to get up to third this weekend but if Chelski win, well, I hate Chelsea! I suppose a draw in that game would do me.
As the big game draws closer then the mind games will start and Rio Ferdinand has come out and said that the man to fear most is Adebayor and not Thierry Henry. There’s no doubt that he was sensational at United (and Chelsea as well) so it’s a fair comment but I’m sure he also knows that it’s likely Adebayor will be on the bench with Van Persie and Henry starting so he hopes that it might cause a little tension in our team.
Adebayor is an effective player in a 4-5-1 formation but with Wenger persisting with two men upfront even with 10 men against Blackburn I’d be surprised if we saw anything else than a 4-4-2 system against United. You never know, Van Persie has failed to score in his last couple of games so could make way for Ade upfront. It’s good to have options anyway!
The other squad news is that Eboue hopes to return for Sunday and apparently William Gallas has declared himself fit. Not sure if Eboue should return after his antics against Liverpool and Hoyte has been playing well so don’t be surprised if Wenger gives Hoyte the nod.
Toure has been a rock recently and Djourou has looked strong and confident at the back, while Senderos has made a few mistakes which were luckily unpunished against Blackburn and Liverpool – althought Djourou has played well it would make sense to have Gallas in the team, especially with Gilberto out.
Flamini will replace Gilberto in the centre which could leave us a big light in the middle, so expect to see Van Persie play a slightly deeper role behind Thierry. You can’t fault Flamini’s work rate and he has improved over the last couple of seasons. His attitude is spot on as well so I have no problem with him next to Cesc against Manchester United – and he scored against Liverpool and Chelsea his season so he’s got an eye for scoring in the big games!
I’m surprised Fergie hasn’t had a go at Arsenal or Arsene yet to stoke the fires before the big game but there’s still a few days to go yet!