Arsenal vs Manchester United Preview

Tomorrow sees the biggest game that the Emirates has ever seen... it's the semi final of the Champions League and a real opportunity to make it to the final. New coming in from the Arsenal camp is that Robin Van Persie is fit and ready to start against Man United tomorrow. Of course, Gallas, Clichy and Eduardo are all injured, and Arshavin is illegible, but apart from those four players, we have a full compliment for tomorrow’s game. Silvestre hasn’t recovered fully from the groin injury, but is included in the squad.

“Robin van Persie is available and back in the squad,” said Arsène Wenger at Monday’s press conference. “Mikael Silvestre is in the squad aswell but he still has a little groin problem. We’ll assess that tomorrow. 
“In a game like this, you want everybody available to give you an opportunity to make a decision.”

“Robin van Persie is available and back in the squad. Mikael Silvestre is in the squad aswell but he still has a little groin problem. We’ll assess that tomorrow. In a game like this, you want everybody available to give you an opportunity to make a decision.”

Looking at the team news, with Diaby, Nasri, Cesc, Ade, Almunia and Toure all rested on the weekend, you’d expect them all to start. I really hope the boss goes for a 4-4-2 and I would have thought we’d have a middle two of Cesc and Denilson or Cesc or Song if he did go for a 4-4-2 which makes me a little confused to why he started both Denilson and Song and didn’t even include Diaby in the squad.

Talking about formations, Arsene says he’d like to play a 4-4-2 if possible, but it all depends on who is available.

[Against Porstmouth] “We started in a 4-4-2. I think it looked more threatening and we looked more comfortable. But when you play Walcott on the right you play more 4-3-1-2 anyway. He is a winger not a midfielder so you have to balance the side to be a bit more defensive. Also, if Fabregas plays behind the striker, the striker looks to be a little isolated so you have to get the balance of the team right. No matter who starts, what is important is that everybody is focused so they can come on and help the team to qualify. That’s what we have to produce on Tuesday night – the game worthy of a Semi-Final. We have to make it hard for them.”

Well, let’s try and second guess Mr Wenger… my choice would be:

Almunia

Sagna – Toure – Djourou – Gibbs

Walcott – Cesc – Denilson – Nasri

Adebayor – Van Persie

But who do I really think Arsene will play? I don’t know, as you can see from the above quotes, it’s all a little cryptic.

News from Walcott is that the team is buzzing and quite excited for tomorrow’s game, so finger’s crossed, we can produce some sort of performance…

Young Theo said:

“Man United is the biggest game of our careers,” said the 20-year-old. “It’s massive and I think we can do it as well. We have a lot of experience in the Champions League and hopefully, we can create some chances. “We have to believe that we can get the result. Hopefully the performance against Portsmouth will spur us on as well. A lot of players didn’t travel there on Saturday and that will help us. “Everyone is buzzing, we cannot wait and we’re on our own pitch, in front of our own fans. That will be crucial and hopefully, we can do it for them because they have been excellent for us this season”

Personally, I’m a bag of nerves, but definitely very excited.

More team news very soon…]]>

  • Pete

    Likewise Dev, am very nervous/excited about tomorrow. In all honestly I really didn’t think we’d get this far, so well done to the lads for doing so, and good luck for tomorrow. Hope they can go all the way!

  • jat85

    The fans will be the decisive factor. We need to make the Emirates Hell on Earth for Man Utd…

  • Pete

    Btw, just read it’s Fabregas’ birthday, so a big shoutout to our captain. Happy birthday Cesc :D

  • edison

    If we can some how stop united from getting a goal at emirates, i think we are more than capable of sticking two past them. We have to be relentless with attacking. An early goal for us would be a dream!

  • Ben

    I’d honestly prefer Diaby over Denilson. We need someone strong in the center to break down plays, and give room for Fabregas to roam and time the passes to RVP and Ade. Denilson is not the strongest in the tackle. Plus, Diaby usually marauds forward … and has a lethal shot

  • http://kierandelaney.net kierandelaney.net

    < ![CDATA[I just don't understand why Song who has been our most improved midfielder this season is likely to start on the bench. I rate him above Denilson and Diaby currently. Diaby has to be the most irritating player in the squad - more so than Bendtner or Adebayor, because Ade is lazy and Bendtner is a lost cause - but Diaby tries 110%, shows flashes of Viera like brilliance and then gives the ball away 100 times.

    I hope song starts and is stuck on Ronaldo.]]>

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[Is Song on a Yellow....perhaps AW is saving him for the final :-)

    I think we can beat Utd but it's the not conceding part that I am not so confident with.

    Come on Gooners!!!!]]>

  • ade chandra

    good luck arsenal

  • jeffvip

    Song have to be starting 11, or else we have absolutely no chance against Man Utd… I’m currently biggest Song fans. ^.^ LOL

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[Am beginning to get weary about decision not to play key players. If Song starts with VP and Cesc and Walcott, along with Nasiri I will be fine and okay. On the contrary, what will happen if the game seems not to be working for us and we desperately need a goal, who will come in, may be Bedtner or Vela ? .

    Of course going for the kill is the best, regardless of what comes out. Put your best men, match Ferd and Vidic; shock them, shake them, they will certainly yield. If Only Torres could, why wont the pair of Ade and VP show them hell.]]>

  • Pissed off

    Am still weary because of Ade. I remember last season, when we really had to defeat Man U to keep our chances alive for the Premiership only for Ade to mess things up, and then Gilberto and Gallas. I still see a similar scenario here, we will certainly go for the kill, possibly be 2 goals up, but when the heat turns against us, can the defence cope. That’s the question we should ask.

  • Pissed off

    Ebuoe to start who is up for it. And what position do you lads suggest. May be he replaces Sagna or replace Walcott or even in CM instead of Diaby (lousy player) playing any part. I really do fancy the lads runs, though most times they are less productive.

  • Pissed off

    Seems am sounding a bit desperate and nervous, see you lads after the match. Will be a match to live for; hopefully.

  • ian tanner

    < ![CDATA[it’s going to take our best performance of the season, perhaps the best performance of the last three seasons, to beat United and make it to the final tonight. Anything less than that and we will fail - it’s as simple as that.
    Going into this game I think it’s fair to say that the tie is balanced at around 65-35 in United’s favour. We have to score and they don’t and that means they definitely have an advantage. I’m certain that United’s philosophy going into this game will be to focus on defence but look to hit us with the pace of Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo in order to find the away goal. They won’t care when they get it and I just can’t see them coming out with the same intensity that they did at Old Trafford. Our formation won’t allow it and to be perfectly honest, it would play into our hands. In my opinion the best way to trouble United at the back is to play a high-intensity pressing game and target their fullbacks. John O’Shea may have scored the winner in the first-leg but he’s far from a brilliant defender and Patrice Evra is not in the best form at the moment. Pressuring the full-backs will force the United wingers back and that means they become less of a threat on the break. Walcott needs to be going at Evra from the first minute and Nasri, although likely to play slightly more defensively to balance Walcott’s attacking role, needs to work to ensure O’Shea stays pegged back. The key to getting through this tie is to score the first goal. While United will come out with the intention of getting an away goal at any point in the game, leveling the tie will fire up the crowd and massively change the complexion of the game. United will know that any time they push forward they could concede at the back and bagging the first goal might just give us the momentum to go on and win it normal time]]>

  • ian tanner

    Manny Pacquiao in midfield!! He’d even kick Barton’s arse!!

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[Spot on Ian we need to play how United did in the first leg.

    Our wingers did not influence the game at all last week. I am sure we will come out a different team tonight and I am hoping who ever goes to the Grove will get behind the lads until the end.

    I am getting excited now!!]]>

  • CON-MAN

    I JUST DONT want to see diaby start, he is too inconsistent and despite the fact we want to win, you have a midfield of cesc, nasri, denilson n walcott who the hell is tracking back? u gotta have song in there as a DM and probably eboue on the bench as no doubt walcott will tire n eboue is a bit better at crossing and defensivly

  • Fabrez

    I’m so nervous rite about now! AHH!!! Never b4 has the team selection been as important as tonight. We’ve got to play Cesc and Song in the midfield. I’d definitely go for that! With Nasri and Theo down the flank. Eboue would come on if things aren’t going for us…maybe for Sagna to press forward. I’m unbelievably nervous…i know that by 10ish 2nite we’ll know or fate. I’ll b so bitter if we don’t win…but i guess if 2nite isn’t our nite, it’ll b bcuz of the 1st leg. I have the funny feeling we’ll need 3 goals 2nite guys, i really do! No team not scoring more than once at the Emirates in Europe is a positive stat but u feel as if 2nite, those stats go out the window. We will need the cleansheet 2nite anyway. I hope for 2-0 but my confidence with our defence is very low. It’ll b hard, but we can do it. Come on Gunners!!!