Arsenal vs Chelsea: Big Match Preview

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:

Almunia

Sagna – Silvestre – Vermaelen – Eboue

Song – Denilson

Walcott – Cesc – Arshavin

Eduardo

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!

  • Khai

    did u guys hear about arshavin being devastated about russia not being in the world cup?

  • wills

    van Persie out for 4-5 months :(

    the medical team who diagnosed him with having ruptured 1 ligament got it wrong! He’d done 3 put of 4 and now needs surgery!

    That’s basically him out for the season. I hope the players go out tomorrow and show everyone that we can beat the big teams without him.

    Come on Arsenal!

  • Fabrez

    Wow…no RvP for 4 months really really sucks. I’m soooooooooooo disappointed as I’m sure we all are. And yeah Khai, Arsh is really down about not makin the WC…so much so he didn’t feel like playing football! He’ll b ok! 4 months tho? Ouch! Dudu, Vela, Bendtner, Walcott, (Chamakh?)…the spotlight is now urs!!

  • Debs

    Gosh, just woke up to the RVP news! That’s a shocker. It’s definitely spoilt my weekend, not just my day :-(
    I just hope it does not affect the team’s performance on Sunday, cos our season could unravel very quickly. I’m terribly gutted.

  • Debs

    Yeah, Fabrez. I think Arsene’ll give the likes of Bendtner, Vela and Eduardo until January, to see if they’ll step up, and if they don’t, we might be seeing Chamakh in January. I just hope our season isn’t over by then. I’m sure it’ll not be over by then, I’m just too depressed by Robin’s blow to think logically.

  • Pete

    Gutted. And all because of an international friendly. He was having a blinding season for us as well. Never mind. The important thing in all this is the players well being. All the best to you Robin!

    In light of this injury news, it does kind of feel that the title is already beyond us a bit. You’re going to need all your best players available throughout the season to win such a trophy. But this is a big chance for Eduardo, Vela, Arshavin and (when fit) Bendtner to step in and stake a claim as main striker.

    About tomorrow, I hope Gallas will be ok because he always does well against his former club.

    All the best to the lads for tomorrow. Have a good weekend guys!

  • Debs

    Just thinking positively, maybe Theo’ll turn out to be like Defoe (and better ofcourse! lol)? They’re like the same size, and Theo’s probably even quicker.
    I do think the title could be beyond us as well, but maybe we shouldn’t underestimate the lads. Now that the wave of depression has passed, I do think we could still win stuff this season. Champions League’s probably our best bet, and if we can find an awesome striker/finisher in Theo, and Bentdner’s back, they could develop a brilliant partnership between them, and if not Theo, then Eduardo. I think Bentdner might be the key to us doing well, because if his physical prowess. He’s got the self-confidence, and the skill, I also think, so he should be chomping at the bit when he’s back. I am actually looking forward to seeing how well we do without Robin. He’s definitely a major loss, but the squad’s got to show us what they can do. I’m beginning to get excited now!

  • Pete

    Thats a good point Debs. We still have good players that are capable of beating most teams. We probably might not win against bigger teams without our best players, but winning consistantly against teams below us could fare well. But the thing is other players will probably have spells injured too, so its difficult to really say, no one can predict the future.

    Does anyone else think its disgusting that the seriousness of the injury went unnoticed for nearly 2 weeks?

  • JDD

    we definately need to buy a striker in january now.im not saying that Eduardo,Bendtner and Vela are rubbish but i dont think having just 3 strikers is enough to win the major trophies.of course we have players like Nasri Arshavin Rosicky Walcott Merida that play in an attaking role,especially with the 4-3-3 formation,but only having 3 out and out strikers is not enough.Van Perise was world class one of the best strikers in the world so is obviously going to be hard to find a replacement.but there are players out there.

    Klass Jan Huntelaar-has only played 7 times for Milan this season and wouldn’t cost very much

    Lisandro Lopez-only moved to Lyon in teh summer but he is a top striker and agian would cost much

    Bojan Krcic-young Barcelona striker hasnt played much

    Gonzalo Huguain-Real Madrid forward would cost alot but would be worth it

    Thierry Henry-proven premeir league striker fan favourite and would cost more than 20mil

  • JDD

    *would-wouldn’t(henry and lisandro lopez)

  • Debs

    Yeah. I don’t know why a ‘thorough review of his scans’ was not done asap. It’s cost Robin 2 weeks now! But what’s done is done…

  • Arseneknows

    Forget all this buying a striker rubbish!
    It’s all deflecting from what we’ve got and what’s
    going on which is the game on Sunday and
    our brilliant team.
    Well worry about buying players in January.
    For now let’s get excited about beating Chelsea.

    Get in!

  • Debs

    I can’t stand Paul Merson, honestly. I think he has a grudge against us deep down.

  • Khai

    why cant they do away with those international friendlies. they serve no purpose but to kill our momentum. seriously.

  • Fabrez

    I’m amazed at how much u can’t stand Merson Debs! lol Y do ya say that? I don’t think he’s that bad!

  • Vazy

    im guessing it was because of what he said on soccer sat

  • Fabrez

    I’m guessing it’s bcuz of things he’s said prior to that too! He’s never been fully convinced that Arsenal cud do it but it’s down to the boys to prove him wrong!

  • vj

    such a mare vp is out we are so fuking dead now we need a striker in jan, hope we can at least get a draw against chelsea with a centre back, leftback, and striker out im cant see a win hope we can pull some magic, see u guys at the stadium good luck im in chelsea stand as well im a dead man