Match Preview: Porto vs Arsenal – Injuries mount up as reserve side flies out

1. Manuel Almunia 21. Lukasz Fabianski 10. William Gallas 18. Mikael Silvestre 40. Kieran Gibbs 41. Gavin Hoyte 27. Emmanuel Eboue 20. Johan Djourou 17. Alex Song 15. Denilson 16. Aaron Ramsey 47. Mark Randall 2. Abou Diaby 43. Fran Merida 19. Jack Wilshere 26. Nicklas Bendtner 12. Carlos Vela 50. Jay Simpson This team includes Randall, Ramsey, Merida, Wilshere, Simpson and Gibbs, so it’s going to be a tough one. So out of these players, who do we think will start against Porto. Well, here goes…

Almunia Goalkeeper
 
Hoyte Right Back Gallas Centre Back Djourou Centre Back Gibbs Left Back
 
Denilson Right Wing Song Midfielder Diaby Midfielder Ramsey Left Wing
 
  Bendtner Striker  Vela Support Striker
So, it looks like we may be playing 4 central midfielders across the middle. We should have learnt from Stoke that perhaps this isn’t the greatest idea. Yes, we could play Vela and Wilshere on either side of Diaby and Song and Simpson up front with Bendtner and of course we could go 4-5-1 which would see Vela play on the left anyway! We’ll probably hear more team news from Arsene tomorrow, but for tonight, I’ll leave you with a few words from the gaffer himself:
“They have lost many good players. You see today with some players who made a career – like Deco – that they had exceptional players.  They are always the reference team in Portugal because they win the championship every year and have always a very good policy of selling and buying. They could combine the two very well. You have today a player like Anderson at Man United – he played at Porto – and Deco at Chelsea – he played at Porto. They have always had very good players.  And yet still again, they qualified in a very difficult group because with Fenerbahce, Dynamo Kyiv and us, it’s not easy for a team like Porto to get out but they got out of the group again.” “It is difficult to say [if finishing first will be important] but would we not feel guilty if we had a massive draw in the last 16? We would have not done something when we know it can punish us. We want to finish first because we want to be the best. But it does not seem that first or second will make a huge difference this year. I want to combine both. I want to protect the team for the 12.45pm kick-off at Middlesbrough but as well finish the job in the Champions League and not lose at Porto.”
Til tomorrow…
]]>

  • JDD

    < ![CDATA[I THINK IT SHOULD BE ALMUNIA-GIBBS-DJOUROU-GALLAS-HOYTE-WILSHERE-SONG-MERIDA-WILSHERE-VELA-SIMPSON I KNOW IT IS A RELATIVELY YOUNG SIDE BUT THESE PLAYERS NEED THESE KIND OF EXPERIENCES AND KNOWADAYS 1ST AND 2ND PALCE DOESN'T REALLY HELP YOU WITH THE DRAW FOR THE NEXT ROUND IF WE COME TOP WE COULD GET REAL MADRID OR BAYERN MUNICH IF WE COME SECOND WE COULD GET LYON OR JUVENTUS NOT REALLY MUCH DIFFERENCE ALSO I WONDER IF GALLAS WILL BE CAPTAIN DUE TO FABREGAS BEING INJURY]]>

  • JDD

    < ![CDATA[I PUT WILSHERE IN TWICE LOL IT SHOULD BE EBOUE ON THE RIGHT OF MIDFIELD]]>

  • devday

    I think Almunia will be captain… and EBoue, you’re right – reports are that he will start tomorrow.

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[Am torn bw doing my school assignment and watching this match. I hope this match will worth the sacrifice. I want us to go clear tommorrow to avoid any big team. I do know in Feb it will be a different story as regards to form.]]>

  • ny

    < ![CDATA[my team prediction is --------------- Almunia------------------- --Hoyte - Djouru - Gallas - Silvestre-- --Eboue - Denilson - Song - Diaby--- -----------Vela -- Bendtner------------- ------------------------------------------------------------------]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[wenger's mentioned that we'r looking to not lose the match. i think we'll be a bit defensive. i think we'll have a solid defence as opposed to youth in hoyte and gibbs. in the midfield however, we only have youths, any of which could line up in various positions, so i'm not gona bother speculating. the formation might be a 4-5-1 to begin with. maybe that means vela's on the bench. or maybe he plays out wide in the starting 11. defensively my hunch is that we'll look like this. almunia eboue gallas djourou silvestre]]>

  • Steve

    < ![CDATA[I'd expect to see your line up above but with the following midfield: Eboue - Ramsey - Denilson -Diaby I think Ramsey/Song/Denilson are pretty interchangeable. Diaby is very right footed but has played on the left before without looking to out of place, despite taking 90% of his touches on his right foot. Tevez would be a good signing but I can't see Wenger touching any sort of third party deal and he would definately not pay 30m for any player. Would be nice to finish top but looking at the draw there's not much in it. The only teams we'd really want to avoid are the english ones who we can't draw and then Barca who topped their group.]]>