Celtic vs Arsenal Match Preview

Just as soon as we’ve finished basking in the glory of the 6-1 opening day win at Everton, we have another game to look forward to… the Champions League qualifier against Celtic, which is our most important game of the season. Although Arsene maintains that we don’t have to be in Europe in order to be financially secure, it’s very important for a club like ours to be in the Champions League proper. It’s a £20 – £40m competition and the kind of players we have need to and want to play in the Champions League.

Celtic v Arsenal
UEFA Champions League, Celtic Park
Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 19:45

The game against Everton was brilliant, 6-1 away from home, but the game against Celtic would be traded for the one at Goodison without question. Arsene has revealed a few injury worries before the game and Theo Walcott is still not back, have suffered a back injury prior to the England game. Cesc, Denilson and Sagna have also been confirmed as doubtful – but rumours are that Cesc is more likely to miss the game than any of the other members of the team.

Arsene said this about the injuries:

“Theo Walcott is not fit but Abou Diaby is with the squad here. From Everton we have Sagna who has a knock, we will make a decision about him tomorrow. We have some uncertainties about Fabregas and Denilson as well but we will make a decision about them tomorrow as well. It is more than 50 per cent that Cesc will play, much more. He has a tight hamstring, I took him off at Everton because of that. Denilson has a groin problem. We will play the best possible team tomorrow, the team which I think has the best chance to win the game. It is a very important game for us because we know what is at stake and we know how difficult it is to play here.”

Arsene also touched on Theo’s injury:

“We are not sure [if he is fit for Saturday]. It is a back problem which he took with England to Holland. He had a test this morning, it was negative. The injury happened before [he went on international duty] and they didn’t send him back from England because they thought it would be possible for him to play two days later. But it came back and he had to stop training when he had a test this morning.”

Based on Arsene words, the probable team will be:

Almunia

Sagna – Gallas – Vermaelen – Clichy

Denilson – Song

Bendtner – Diaby – Arshavin

Van Persie

With a likely bench of Mannone, Eboue, Gibbs, Silvestre, Ramsey, Merida and Eduardo

Celtic will be a tough opposition, the atmosphere will be electric at Celtic Park and it will be a good test for us. After the game against Everton, we’ll surely go into the game as super favourites, which in reality puts Celtic in a no-lose situation – where they aren’t expected to win, so can give there all and see what happens.

The attack minded nature of Celtic may play well for us as we’re good on the counter attack, and an away goal could be vital for us too.

It’s been a long couple of days for me at work and with my sister’s birthday, so I’ll leave you with a little bit more from the gaffer…

“You expect a massive support at Celtic. Scotland is always a very special atmosphere – a special noise in the stands – but we have played everywhere in Europe and we can deal with that. It will be down to us and how well we play. We don’t go into this game with fear. We go with respect for Celtic, but we know it is a very important game for us and we want to come home with a positive result. I always prepare my team first with determination and not fear. We have played everywhere and have good experience in the Champions League, but every game is different and we know what we face on Tuesday – a very determined Celtic team with quality.”

It is indeed a very very important game for us… I’ll looking forward to it.

Come on you Gooners!

  • AM

    Newbie to the site! Im sitting here watching the Everton Arsenal game again on Sky plus. Arsenal showed such class skill and focus looks like the summer has done us well, we do look like a new team, and I hope we show the hunger tomorrow. Looking forward to discussing post game tomorrow

    Come on Arsenal

  • Marc Callan

    I would trade Diaby for Eddie…my opinion here and I think he would be up front with Van Persie playing the attacking midfielder…I understand Ed is only back from injury but put him in for 60mins and then take him off i think he can last that long, then put in Diaby

    Anyone agree with me or am I a lone wolf (The Hangover, what a film!)

  • JDD

    if we play the same formation we did on saturday 4-3-3 and bearing in mind the injuries i think the line up should be

    almunia
    clichy vermaelen gallas eboue
    arshavin song diaby
    eduardo van persie eduardo

    i wouldnt risk anyone at this time of the season yes its an important match but i think this line-up would score an away goal and probly get at least a draw.

  • JDD

    *eduardo van persie bendtner

  • Macaw

    erm…
    i will not be surprise that Arsene Wenger will field a 4-5-1 formations. Looking at the past few champion league tied, he usually will field such formation. I think the formation will look like this:
    almunia
    clichy vermaelen gallas sagna
    arshavin song diaby ramsey/wilshere bendtner
    van persie
    I can’t wait to see people like Nasri and Walcott back to the squad. And now who says we don’t have the depth?

  • Leeroy.N

    I know we have tonnes of injuries. But it will be a test of character for both Wenger and whatever team he decides to put out. I hope they all find it in themselves to put on a really good show for us, with or without “key” members of the squad. We managed to rack up a really decent run without regular first team players last season. Let’s show them we can do it again! Come on you Gunners!

    Gooner Til I Die!

  • VJ

    sorry devday but i think fabregas will start its a key game and a arsene said he is more likely. the only way diaby will play is to replace denilson and eboue to replace sagna if both are unfit. as for the bench theres no merida but wilshere is included plus fabregas is in the squad hopefully not to many changes will happen though. (squad is on bbc)

  • nonso ibekwe

    I need wilshere in todays game

  • Fo

    Marc – agree – would love to see Eduardo and Van Persie – but add in Bendtner and Arshavin and suddenly the team looks too attacking!

  • Fo

    AM – I think you’re right, the summer seems to have done the team the world of good – they seem like a different outfit. So much cohesion!

  • devday

    News coming out of the Arsenal camp is that Cesc and Sagna has been passed fit but Denilson is 50:50

  • Fo

    That’s great news – Cesc will control the game from midfield and it looks like he will play with Diaby and Song in midfield. Is Wilshere in the squad?