Roma vs Arsenal, Champions League… Squad News And Line Ups…

AS Roma v Arsenal
UEFA Champions League, Stadio Olimpico
Wednesday, March 11, 2009, 19:45

The squad has been announced and it’s pretty much the same as we thought it would be with the inclusion of Walcott, Toure and Eduardo:

Arsenal squad for AS Roma

1 Manuel ALMUNIA (GK), 2 Abou DIABY, 3 Bacary SAGNA, 5 Kolo TOURE, 8 Samir NASRI, 9 EDUARDO, 10 William GALLAS, 11 Robin VAN PERSIE, 12 Carlos VELA, 14 Theo WALCOTT, 15 DENILSON, 16 Aaron RAMSEY, 17 Alex SONG, 20 Johan DJOUROU, 21 Lukasz FABIANSKI (GK), 22 Gael CLICHY, 26 Nicklas BENDTNER, 27 Emmanuel EBOUE, 40 Kieran GIBBS

 

Based on this, I suspect Arsene will go for the formation and personnel as discussed yesterday. Rumours are that he will start with Denilson and Diaby in the middle with Nasri just behind Van Persie and Eboue and Bendtner on either side. I’ve seen this in a newspaper too, but really can’t see Arsene playing Bendtner on the left if we have so many other players back and ready to start. After Song’s impressive display against Burnley, he may have won his place in this starting line up.

Arsene has options and it’s clear he plans on using them:

“I want the freedom to change my mind,” he explained. “There’s one or two positions which are not completely set. It is 90 per cent not 100 per cent there but that gives you the opportunity to change it.”

In reality, I think the two positions he is talking about is whether to start with Toure or Djourou, as Toure must not be 100% fit. The other deliberation is whether to play three “defensive” midfielders or two in what I believe will be a 5 man midfield.

Eboue I’m sure will be a starter as he has got more defensive attributes, but if we do start with Diaongson (Diaby, Song and Denilson)  then we might not… I don’t think I am making sense – it’s so hard having so many options… We do have to be defensive. If we don’t concede, we will go through. But at the same time, if we score – and score just one, they’ll need 3. Arsene agrees:

“I will try to convince the players we want a positive attitude and not just sit back,” he said. “As a team we are strong going forward. If we only defend we put ourselves in trouble. If we score we have a very, very strong chance to go through. So we will go into the game wanting to win it. You need to play good football and be strong in your recovery of the ball away from home. That’s our first task but the second one is that, after we have recovered the ball, we must go forward. We have the experience of playing in places like Madrid and Milan and we never hid then. That should convince us the way to approach the game is to be positive. That’s our style of play and our culture.”

Okay, so let’s try once more to second guess the gaffer:

Almunia

Djourou – Toure – Gallas

Walcott – Denilson – Nasri

Van Persie – Vela – Eduardo

Bendtner

In a 3-3-3-1 formation?

Okay, yes, that was a joke.

I still think we’ll line up like this:

Almunia

Sagna – Toure – Gallas – Clichy

Eboue – Denilson – Song – Diaby – Nasri

Van Persie

So bring on Roma… let’s see what we’re made of, let’s see what we can do, let’s see how much we want it. For those of you out there, have a good time, enjoy the game… and bring on the next round….]]>

  • Fo

    < ![CDATA[First to comment again. yipee! I should win a prize!

    Come on you gunners..... make us proud!!]]>

  • ny

    < ![CDATA[my version of lineup will be

    Almunia

    Sagna - Toure - Gallas - Clichy

    walcott - Denilson - Diaby - Bendtner

    Nasri

    Van Persie

    almost similar to team played against roma in the home match]]>

  • Fabrez

    I’d agree with the 4-5-1…we play our natural game & I don’t see why we would not go thru. I’m super confident…hope i don’t eat those words! I actually don’t think we’ll concede…but u can never tell i suppose…

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[Looking at the team news for tonights game, Roma have quite a few players out through injury and suspencion. Hopefully that'll play to our advantage, although at the same time those players coming in for them will be rested. If we're on top of our game, I can honestly see us getting a 2-0, maybe even 3-0 win.

    For the first time in a long time I'm not certain who will start for us. I'm pretty sure its safe to say Bendtner, RvP, Nasri Denilson, Clichy and Almunia will put in 90 mins as they were all rested over the weekend. But as for the other 5 players and what formation they'll take, I cant quite make up my mind. It sure is exciting having a near-full squad to choose from :)]]>

  • Fabrez

    Shall b intersting to see who Arsene finally decides on. And i feel 2-0 myself!

  • Dan

    < ![CDATA[I have to agree with your line up. My only fear would be Van Persie up top alone, can he hold the ball up? I'm in two minds about this. He has the ability to do so, but having five midfielders who wont go beyond him very often causes the issue. It just lacks a bit of penetration and we might get stuck infront of their back four.

    If its a stalemate, the bench looks pretty good for once. Vela, Eduardo and especially Walcott can make the difference.]]>

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[Easy team to paick for me:

    Almunia

    Sagna - Toure - Gallas - Clichy

    Eboue - Song - Diaby - Nasri - Bendtner

    Van Persie

    4-5-1 but with attacking attitude.

    Walcott & Denilson and Eduardo will come on towards the end of the game.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I say if Bendtner is to start then put him up top instead of VanPersie. Just like he was up top against West Brom. He put in his best performance and I fear if he's made to play in a make-shift position, it'll screw his form. Just play him as the striker and VanPersie as support-striker or the 5th midfielder in a 5 man midfield, if it is so.

    Roma have DeRossi suspended, Aquilani, Cicinho, Perotta all injured and Totti might not be fit enough to start either. They do have Baptista and Vucinic, who, for me, is their most dangerous player along with DeRossi. This surely gives us a slight advantage - facing Roma when they're not at their best.]]>

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[*pick

    LOL]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I think Wenger's having to choose between playing Eboue or Bendtner. If he hasn't decided on playing a 3 man midfield then maybe he's also having to decide if he should leave Song out. The players who are most likely to start, for me, are :

    Almunia
    Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy
    Denilson Diaby Nasri
    VanPersie

    What's lacking is an RM (or Nasri could play there, with Diaby at LM. That would leave one CM place vacant - filled in by Song. And one more position vacant. Wenger could fill that with either another midfielder or Bendtner up top.) :

    Almunia
    Sagna - Toure - Gallas - Clichy
    (Eboue/Walcott/Bendtner) RM - Nasri - Denilson - Song - Diaby - (Bendtner/Nasri/Diaby) LM
    (Nasri/Diaby/VanPersie) SS
    (Bendtner/VanPersie) ST]]>

  • Gooner Get Ya

    He played on the left in the first leg though and also played well. I would just try it again to start with and change it up if it’s not as effective.

  • AJ

    < ![CDATA[Either way, Roma are serverly weakened and I am feeling pretty confident, I don't think Walcott will start, I reckon he will be a impact sub, purely because he can't be at full fitness, I agree it will most proberbly be a 4-5-1 and to behonest, I think we are in for a great game.

    Almunia
    Sagna - Toure - Gallas - Clichy
    Eboue - Denilson - Song - Diaby - Nasri
    Van Persie

    Even though Bendtner has been playing well and I think he will proberbly start even though I didn't put him in my line up, I'm not too sure I want him in there today, atleast not from the start because as well all know, he's pretty unpredictable.]]>

  • JDD

    < ![CDATA[Almunia

    Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy

    Eboue Song Nasri Walcott

    Eduardo Van Persie]]>

  • JDD

    < ![CDATA[this the starting lin-up

    Almunia

    Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy

    Eboue Denilson Diaby Nasri

    Bendtner Van Persie]]>

  • JDD

    *line

  • zohaib

    A bit too excited are we JDD ?

  • devday

    < ![CDATA[Team confirmed:

    Almunia
    Sagna - Toure - Gallas - Clichy
    Eboue - Denilson - Nasri - Diaby - Van Persie
    Bendtner

    Come on your gooooooooooooooners!!]]>

  • devday

    With VP and Bendtner alternating.

  • debs

    < ![CDATA[Oh God! I'm nervous to hell! And it doesn't help matters that I'm stuck watching the Man U match and following ours on text commentary :(
    Come on you gunners!!!]]>

  • Debs

    Right. At least if we get to the finals, and it comes down to penalties, we can say we’ve got the experience taking penalties at the Stadio Olimpico!

  • Fabrez

    That was MADDDD…i was the loudest person in the pub when that penalty missed…i’m pretty sure i was the most passionate gooner in there…and there were quite a few! Epic stuff! Nailbiting for the most! I had 2 eat my words about an easy win…really didn’t expect such a tuff encounter but such is Europe! Guess we shud have taken our chances. When Edu didn’t score, i had the feeling that we could still win….i need to stop typing bcuz i will talk about this all nite! lol

  • Fabrez

    And very true Debs, very true! We showed real nerve & i’m proud of that.

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[yeah, it was crazy! started watching the match when extra time started but I'd been on the edge of my seat all day!
    But the guys showed amazing character and I'm proud of them too! Denilson's penalty impressed me- that was such a confident take! And Baptista! Thought he would miss for old times sake! lol
    But yeah, it definitely was a good experience for the lads, but it should never have got that far in the first place, but it doesn't matter now. I guess the end justifies the means! And I think I also need to stop typing now cos I'll go on and on too! lol]]>

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[Bloody heck! Watched the entire match and my heart is still pounding! lol Despite our win, which I am very pleased with, I hope we never put ourselves in that position again. The goal we conceded really should have been cleared, but I've got to hand it to the lads for going the full 120 mins and the mental strength it takes to win at pens away from home. Thats no easy feat.

    Hopefully this'll be the last of our crazy performances.

    Blackburn did well at Fulham tonight too, so they'll be up for Sundays game.

    As an aside, I saw the highlights of the Barcalona game. Henry scored two cracking goals and set up one for Eto.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[If we were lucky, we definitely deserved luck, after what happened to us in the final against Barcelona, or last year against Liverpool.

    It was a pretty inept performance, specially by Wenger, who as usual lied that he'd play positive. I'm convinced he doesn't know how to motivate and fire-up people for a match. And I wonder when he'll ever learn to stop being so bloody uselessly stubborn. He should have made the changes at halftime. He should've never let the game go to extra time or penalties. But Eboue should've passed it better to Bendtner too.

    At least we're through though. With all our players coming back to fitness, hopefully the next round of the champions league will see us play better football. The kind of football that drew me to Arsenal.

    On the Barcelona note : Let's send them Adebayor and get back Henry.]]>

  • zohaib

    VanPersie, Denilson and Eboue had a pretty shitty game. Bendtner, Diaby and Nasri seemed to be better. Our defence wasn’t solid either. And Almunia made some good saves !

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