Boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen… the big game is upon us. We’ve faired well this season in general, but also suffered three losses this season, which currently puts us 8 points behind the table toppers (albeit with a game in hand) and of course, the table toppers are the team we play on Saturday.
Arsenal vs Chelsea
The Emirates Stadium, 4pm
Sunday 29th November 2009
As a season goes, we’ve played well, and scored goals. We’ve hit 6 past Everton, played a youth team against Liverpool and won, and disposed of a high rated Sp*rs team too. But for each high, we’ve had a low and the losses to Man United, Man City and Sunderland and of course the two dropped points against West Ham have shown that we’re not going to win the title without the correct desire and commitment in every game.
On Sunday, we take on a Chelsea side, who sit 8 points ahead of us in the league and if we beat them, we can reduce the 8 to 5 and maintain our game in hand. If we lose, it will be 11 points, and even with a game in hand, it’s a big mountain to climb. Of course, with absentees of Van Persie and Bendtner adds a little more pressure to their replacements, players like Eduardo and Carlos Vela, but a key man for us who we do need fit is William Gallas. As things stand, he is unlikely to feature as after he clash with Arshavin, the Frenchman is unable to put his lenses in in his right eye, and that’s a obvious a problem if you can’t see!
So before I take a look at what Arsene has to say, let’s take a look at the proposed team line up:
Sagna – Silvestre – Vermaelen – Eboue
Song – Denilson
Walcott – Cesc – Arshavin
Now, there are some doubts over a few positions here – if Gallas is fit, obviously he will start ahead of Silvestre. The other area is left back and Arsene has been speaking about the choice being between Traore and Eboue and I think the Ivory Coast International will get the nod. I also think Denilson may start ahead of Nasri as he is more defensive minded. However, as he’s been out for so long, Arsene may decide to use Nasri alongside Song, so we’ll see tomorrow. The other choices to think about are of course the wings – and I have gone for Walcott and Arshavin because both players are the penetrative players that could help us beat a team like Chelsea.
Okay, let’s hear from Arsene, who is very much ready for this game…
“Everyone will look at the game to rate our potential, and I have no worries about that. We are ready for the game, are well focused, prepared and the confidence is good. We just want to focus on the game like we want to play it. It is a big test, yes – but that is what you want, to play these teams. I think there is a period for any team to come out and show its strengths. For my team, this moment has come. We are not any more a team that has to be considered to be young. I think we have the strengths and we can show that on Sunday that we are strong enough to compete.”
And I think tomorrow’s game will be a title decider for us – if we lose the game and go 11 points behind Chelsea, no matter how well we do for the rest of the season, I’d say it would be way to big a task to claw back the points. If we win the game, then it’s game on – this is truly a six pointer!
Our super duper defender Thomas Vermaelen was in the press and he stresses how important it is to win the game and also talks about how he relishes the chance to play against Drogba
“Of course Chelsea is number one in the League so it’s a big game. There’s a little gap between us now so for us it’s important to win this game. I’ve seen them a few times and of course you know all the players and their qualities. Because there is already a gap, it’s important to win. If we lose though I still think we can win the league, it’s not a big problem. We’re always confident at home and we have to continue that against Chelsea.”
Yes, we’ve won every game this season at the Emirates and after last seasons 4-1 reverse, we have some revenge in order….
Over the comments for now, but I’ll be around this weekend, so will join you on the comments too soon!