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Arsenal v Manchester United preview: Will we get our revenge today? + Team news

Posted on January 22, 2012 by Nitesh

Arsenal host Manchester United today hoping to bounce back from two defeats away in the league. Will they finally overturn their fortunes, and get revenge for that 8-2 demolition in the last week of August?

For Arsenal, that game was a waking-up call of sorts. It made Arsene realise just how barren the squad was, and it led to a period of mad activity on our part in the transfer market. The players brought in as a conclusion of that game have solidified their place in the squad, with Arteta, Mertesacker and Santos playing a major role in Arsenal’s campaign so far. Of those three, only the big German is available to face Manure today, with the other two out to injuries picked up over the course of the season.

Team news:-

Arsenal: Henry (doubt – calf), Vermaelen (doubt – calf), Arteta (calf), Santos (ankle), Sagna (ankle), Wilshere (ankle), Jenkinson (back), Coquelin (hamstring), Gibbs (groin).

Man United: Welbeck (doubt – knee), Young (ankle), Fletcher (bowel condition), Vidic (knee), Owen (thigh), Cleverly (ankle), Anderson (training injury).

Look at that list, and you have to worry about Arsenal’s defence line today. No recognized left-back, and even Coquelin won’t be available to play. But Miquel has done well in the chances that he has got out there, and it looks like continuing. The rest of the back 5 picks itself, with Djourou, Mertesacker and Koscielny taking up their places in front of Szcesney. The full-backs won’t have the trickiness of Young or the directness of Welbeck to deal with today, and their plight will be made a bit easier for that. But Miquel will have to be on his heels today to keep Valencia in check, and Koscielny will have to provide ample cover whenever needed.

Speaking of Szczesney, Arsene has been praising the young Pole ahead of the game. The goalkeeper made his debut against the same opponents last year, and has steadily grown in stature. Arsene had this to say :-

“Wojciech has a high level of resistance to stress,” said his manager at Friday’s press conference. “In the game at Manchester United, he only conceded goals that you would not even consider a goalkeeper having the chance to save. They were all in the corner. On the day I think Manchester United just had the magic to hit those unbelievable goals. I didn’t think he was at fault for one.

“But games like that can affect you and I believe a goalkeeper becomes vulnerable when he thinks he has let the team down. They go home, analyse it and think ‘what could I do there?’

“However a top-level sportsman always has a good evaluation of his performances – an objective one. When they honestly feel they have nothing at fault, they get over it quickly. In this case, I don’t think there was too much work to do with him.”

I can’t agree more with him. Szczesney is a world-class keeper already, and he just needs to keep his feet on the ground. He has already come out and shared the responsibility for Swansea’s winner on Sunday, and as long as he continues along the same honest line, it should be a good one for him.

Arteta isn’t available for this game again, and our midfield looks depleted for that. One of Benayoun or Rosicky will take up his place in the middle of the park alongside Ramsey and Song, and most of the creative burden will fall on him. I’m hoping for Benayoun in the middle and Rosicky on the left flank. That will keep the ball rolling in midfield, while there will be rotation further up the field.

Speaking of the flank, Arshavin must NOT start this game. This game is too huge for us to see another lazy performance from him, and try as I must to find positives in his form, I cease to understand why Arsene has stuck with him so much. Rosicky should take his spot, with Walcott on the right-wing. Theo hasn’t been in much form lately himself, but there have been glimpses of brilliance in his play, such as his chipped goal last weekend and the runs that he made off the last man. If he succeeds in doing that again, we could have a merry time. Remember, United’s captain Vidic has been ruled out for the season, and in my opinion he’s one of the best defenders in the league. Let’s target De Gea or Lindegaard or whoever’s in goal for them, cos I don’t think that their keepers are full of confidence right now.

Rooney has talked about the importance of Robin van Persie to this Arsenal team, and has praised the Dutchman’s and Ramsey’s contribution this season. Rooney has urged his United team to focus on RVP, and so ‘shut out Arsenal by keeping Robin quiet’. In this sense, our captain’s role further increases. Not only does he have to go looking for goals himself and add to his tally, he needs to make a couple of unselfish runs to draw out the defenders and create scoring opportunities for the rest of the team. And there’s no one better to do that than Robin himself.

Vermaelen and Henry are doubts for the game, and I don’t really know the scene. Henry wouldn’t have started anyway, but we shouldn’t risk Vermaelen from the start too. We cannot afford another relapse of the injury forcing him to sit out a couple of months. Let’s keep him on the bench if need really be, and let’s go out with a team with both legs.

……………………………….Szczesney…………………………….

….Djourou………Mertesacker…….Koscielny……Miquel…..

…………………………….Song………………………………………

………………..Ramsey……………Benayoun………………….

……Walcott…………………………………………..Rosicky…..

………………………Robin van Persie……………………………

by Nitesh

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7 to “Arsenal v Manchester United preview: Will we get our revenge today? + Team news”

  1. JohnW says:

    We will lose this game today because of the midfield. It’s a shame because had Arteta been present we would have had a chance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  2. John collard says:

    Well that’s the spirit John. Let’s really get behind the team like some of these silly Wenger haters. Haven’t even kicked a ball and we have lost already lol. Arteta yeah has been great oh and buy the way a great Wenger signing. But yeah we will lose because we have robin van Persia playing henry or Ramsey or song or Walcott oxlade please let the game start before we say we shall lose. I’m going for a arsenal win. Up the gunners

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    • John collard says:

      Shows the disgrace of some of are fans buy putting a thumbs down to my comment. All I said is right jokersl

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. J says:

    Nice analysis. Miquel will truly have to push it to the maximum today. Defense looks shaky, especially on the wings. Midfield still looks slightly dangerous, will be missing Arteta. Attack will have to work hard. Maybe putting Rosicky switched with Benayoun? Or maybe playing Arshavin as a shadow striker would do some good. Give the russian a chance in that area. Might not be the right match to give it to him, but it could work

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. wesxco says:

    Arsenal should start AOC in eleven and put rosicky in ten and ramsey in eight

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. undisclosed says:

    Disagree with your team. i would play 4411 with arshavin just behind rvp. i would give walcott the.left midfield in front of miquel and give the ox the right in front of djourou and tell the back 4 to hold their positions. song and ramsey in the middle.

    bench fabianski yennaris squillaci rosicky benayoun park watt or ryo

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. shafi says:

    Actually, i have been waiting for this match for long period of time, now the day has come without confidence of what going to happen at our home. i am with team, players as well as the coach. What so ever will happen i remain Gunners4ever and ever. But we are in Danger!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0



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