Wigan vs Arsenal A trip to the JJB stadium has always been a good venue for us. We beat them 3-2 in their first season back in the premiership and 1-0 last season with a Cesc inspired last minute Adebayor effort. It’s going to be an exciting trip, a game we have to win. If we do, we will be 4 points clear as United feature in the FA Cup today against Portsmouth. Wigan are currently 14th in the table, but only 2 points clear of the relegation zone. It is a very tight relegation battle with Reading currently in 18th on 25 points, Bolton 17th on 26 points, Birmingham, 16th on 26 points and Sunderland 15th on 27 points too. Wigan under Steve Bruce are a different side and have won 2 of their last 4 games. One player that Arsene knows well is the Hondurian international Wilson Palacios who had a trial with Arsenal last summer before signing for Bruce’s Birmingham and then Bruce’s Wigan. I’ve kept an eye on this player and he’s a good all-rounder and a good addition to the Wigan squad…
InjuriesWe’ve got injury problems (the story of our season) and we will be without Theo Walcott, who suffered a thigh strain against Colorado Rapids in a friendly on Thursday. Denilson also suffered from a recurrence of his hamstring injury. Abou Diaby is out after picking up a calf strain against Milan, but should be back in training next week. Kolo Toure and Alex Song will also both miss out after failing to recover from calf strains and a knee injury respectively. Finally, Rosicky is out for another 2 weeks and of course Eduardo misses out with his long term injury. The Cannon talks about our injuries further and the impact of the Rapids match.
Team NewsDjourou and Van Persie both return to the squad having missed quite a few games between them. Van Persie lasted an hour against Rapids on Thursday and Djourou has been passed fit. The squad for Sunday looks like: Goalkeepers: Almunia, Lehmann Defenders: Sagna, Gallas, Senderos, Clichy, Djourou, Hoyte Midfielders: Hleb, Flamini, Fabregas, Gilberto Strikers: Adebayor, Bendtner, Van Persie
Starting XIWe’ll surely revert to a 4-4-2 game today, simply because of the players we have available. We will start with a team as close to the Milan game as possible. At the back we will see the same 5 as Tuesday, but in midfield, we have both Walcott and Diaby out through injury and Eboue serves the final game of his suspension. I expect Fabregas to move to the right hand side for Walcott / Eboue and Gilberto to come in alongside Flamini. Let’s take a look at the starting line up for tomorrow:
|Sagna Right Back||Gallas Centre Back||Senderos Centre Back||Clichy Left Back|
|Fabregas Right Wing||Flamini Defensive Midfielder||Gilberto Defensive Midfielder||Hleb Left Wing|
|Adebayor Stiker||Bendtner Support Stiker|