With United drawing with Middlesborough, there is still a feint chance we could win the title, but 3 points on Saturday would have given us a real hope... let's see what's in store in the title twist later, but for the moment, it looks increasingly likely that all our eggs are in one basket, and that basket is the Champions League.
Of course, the 1-1 draw at the Emirates means we have to score at Anfield to progress. If we don't score, whatever the result, we won't go through. If we do, we need a win or a score draw of 2-2 or more to progress. It's pretty much the same as any one off tie, for example, where we'd need to score to win.
Toure and Bendtner are both looking forward to the game and have high hopes for our performance at Anfield. Bendtner especially believes he needs to make up for his mistake last Wednesday. To this day he protests that he tried to get his foot out of the way, but if you watch the replay, it was clear that he was trying to score. I like Bendtner, I think he is a good player, but he is vastly inexperienced at this level.
“We went to Anfield before this season and everyone was telling me before that game how great a place it can be to play in. I came on and it was very nice. The atmosphere was fantastic. I expect the same on Tuesday but we have to deal with it and win the game. As a player, you always want to produce and in a big game even more so. It certainly should be a good one to watch.”
I don’t believe Bendtner will start but may be involved in some part if we need to change the dynamic of the team.
Arsene believes we can qualify and rues the 3 players we seem to have lost at the same time. He says that the team has come on a lot and that the progress this year has been good. It’s a strange one too, as he says that he couldn’t have for seen that Eduardo, Rosicky and VP would all be out at the same time. But Rosicky and VP do have a history of injuries, so maybe it would be wiser to think maybe one or both may be injured. If we can one or two more extra players, or a bit of luck, maybe it would have been different… Anyway, Arsene said:
“I think we have enough resources to qualify on Tuesday night. We go until the end of the season and then see what it is like. But it was difficult to predict that Eduardo, Van Persie and Rosicky would be out together and for such a long time.”
With Vela joining us in summer, maybe we won’t sign a new striker, but a replacement for Jens and Gilberto and a winger (or two) wouldn’t go amiss.
VP may be back for tomorrow’s game, but at the moment, he’s not. According to the Arsenal website, we may hear more on this during the afternoon, so I’ll keep you posted on any news I hear.
In the meantime, considering VP as out of the starting line up, I think we’re looking at:
With Lehmann, Hoyte, Traore, Song, Gilberto, Walcott, Bendtner on the bench.
I originally though Walcott would start, but with his start on Saturday, it looks unlikely that he will. His role as an impact substitute is well documented. But Arsene, if you’re reading this, please drop Eboue and play Walcott from the start, he will win us the game.
So predictions? Well, Liverpool at Anfield in the Champions League will always be a difficult game, but we will will score and so will they. 2-1 to the Arsenal?
Update: Van Persie is in the squad….
18 man Arsenal squad to face Liverpool tomorrow:
1 Jens LEHMANN, 2 Abou DIABY, 4 Cesc FABREGAS, 5 Kolo TOURE, 6 Philippe SENDEROS, 10 William GALLAS, 11 Robin VAN PERSIE, 13 Alexander HLEB, 16 Mathieu FLAMINI, 17 Alex SONG, 19 GILBERTO, 22 Gael CLICHY, 24 Manuel ALMUNIA, 25 Emmanuel ADEBAYOR, 26 Nicklas BENDTNER, 27 Emmanuel EBOUE, 31 Justin HOYTE and 32 Theo WALCOTT]]>