Man City arrive at the Emirates tonight with a point to prove. Or gain. Either way, for a team who haven’t won at our place in over 30 years to have ambitions of being champions you would think that they will arrive with all guns blazing.
Luckily, I don’t see it happening that way. On the road Man City seem more determined not to lose and will more than likely sit back and try and hit us on the break. Why wouldn’t they? It’s worked for Man United and Chelsea over the years.
But there’s the thing, it didn’t work the last time Chelsea turned up and it seems that finally, finally, Arsenal have learnt how not to do their predictable part in these games.
The team we should field will more than likely be the same as the one which did so well at St. Andrews. With no new injuries, no injured players returning, and two cup games coming up, we will see the first string of Fabianski, Sagna, Clichy, Djourou, Koscielny, Song, Wilshere, Fabregas, Nasri, Walcott and Van Persie.
The only doubts I would have is if Wenger will play Johann in two games in a row and given the fears for the players career and knee when he was injured, he can be as cautious as he likes in my opinion.
We ‘might’ see Arshavin as well, but as we’ve seen, when high tempo and pressing are the order of the day he’s not really the man to rely on. Of course, he has the tendency to pull something very special out of his bag of tricks, but his refusal to track back leaves Clichy woefully exposed and if we are to play a game similar to that which we played against Chelsea we need our forwards to be our first line of defence.
Man City are a strong, powerful team, and in Tevez they have one hell of a threat for our defence to try and deal with. There will be no ex-25 and no Silva, not that that should matter, We should be looking to beat the best teams at full-strength, or at least have no fear of facing them if we have any delusions of grandeur.
I’m finding hard to know what to say as we head in to this match. I could have just cut and pasted my blog from before the Chelsea match, because it is the same sort of thing we need tonight. We need to start at 100mph and maintain that for 90 minutes. We need to be the first in to challenges, the first to loose balls and rebounds, and every player in our side needs to be a defender first, football artist second.
Should be simple enough eh?
In other news, Barcelona have begun their nonsense again with rumours that they are now after Nasri. Do they want him? Do they just want to disrupt us prior to our meeting in the Champions League? Or is this all just idle gossip? I’ve no idea, but whatever it is, Barca can f**k right off, and if Nasri is even slightly tempted, all he has to do is look at Hleb. While Nasri might be a far better player, Hleb’s plight is one which should serve as a warning to all those Barcelona look to woo.
He went from being a regular first-team player with Arsenal to warming the bench. His goal last night was his first in 79 appearances which spanned three leagues and while he was never prolific in front of goal, for an attacking player, that is a damming statistic.
But that nonsense can wait. We have Man City tonight, as well as Song’s reportedly new hilarious haircut. Let’s hope it serves to inspire him and confuse City.
Predictions people? 3-1 would be my call, what about you?------------
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