Tomorrow sees us take on Sunderland at the Emirates and it should be a bit of a cracker. Yes, I base this on nothing but pure gut feeling. News coming out of the Emirates is that Arshavin may start the game with Vela rested for Tuesday's game against Roma. The bad news post Cardiff is that Eduardo picked up a hamstring strain and won't be back until the WBA game (missing Sunderland, Roma and Fulham).
On Arshavin, Arsene said this earlier in the week:
“He will be involved,” said Wenger. “But I have not decided what I will do with him yet.”
And spoke again about the Russian in the press conference today:
“He can integrate well our combination game, he can move very well, he is very mobile so that is something we work on as well. He is a clever passer of the ball and that is something you need in every big team to open teams up. You have to give everybody who comes in time to adapt, to adjust. I know him quite well on his vision, his passing ability, his quick brain. That is something which is very important in the modern game. He has personality, he has a strong character. The handicap he has at the moment is that he is not completely fit physically, but all the rest should be quite quick. Anyway, we will take the needed time. We will not put him under pressure, if he needs a bit longer he takes a bit longer. At the moment we have many players in that area injured like (Cesc) Fabregas, like (Tomas) Rosicky, like (Theo) Walcott, so there is a position to take as a creative midfielder.”
The probable line up for tomorrow is:
Sagna – Djourou – Gallas – Clichy
Nasri – Denilson – Song – Arshavin
Bendtner – Van Persie
With the likes of Fabianksi, Gibbs, Toure, Eboue, Ramsey, Wilshere and Vela on the bench.
So, from having 5 strikers potentially available, we’re down to 3 now. Eduardo’s injury is down to his lengthy time out and maybe it will continue like this for a while. We’re probably best looking at him as a sub to change a game this season then a regular starter and a player who can regain his fitness for next season and really get a consistent run in the team. If we do make it past Roma then he could really help us through the latter stages of the Champions League – it’s all very touch and go. Am I making any sense in what I’m saying?
“Eduardo is out for two weeks. He picked up a hamstring injury two minutes before I took him off. What a nightmare. Nobody knows how it happened but I knew straight away after the game it would be a two-week job. It is nothing like he had before but I do know that little setbacks like this are part of being nine months out. After that long out, nobody plays six months on the trot. It is impossible. But at the same time it is a blow because, of course, he can score goals. He had shown that on Monday night.”
Okay, so, kick off 3pm tomorrow. 3 points is a must, must, must… we’ve got to hope someone drops points.