West Ham vs Arsenal – The FA Cup Preview…

So tomorrow we take on West Ham in the FA Cup and it’s a chance to rest some of our most important players… As discussed yesterday, we’ll be without some very key players anyway in Clichy, Gibbs, Denilson, Cesc, Van Persie, Walcott and Bendtner but I’d expect Arsene to rest the likes of Arshavin, Nasri and Diaby. With Rosicky coming back to fitness again and Carlos Vela needing a run out and of course Eduardo needing more and more games to get back to match fitness.

Arsene does maintain the want and will to win, but of course. He does maintain the need to continue the league form and

“I will have to rest some players because there were some knocks against Portsmouth [on Wednesday]. Bolton is a very important game for us, so we want to keep our momentum going.  I will change some players that is for sure. But while the Carling Cup is, for us, exclusively for young players, the FA Cup is one to win. A Cup is a Cup and we want to do well. A season is judged on the overall achievement. People look to who has won the trophies but I look as well at how we have done and how consistently we have played.  This team is enjoyable to watch but also to manage because they just want to win every game.”

The games against Bolton and Everton are home games in the Premiership that we simply must win in order to have a chance of winning the league. And that is the focus. I think maybe if Chelsea and United hasn’t had such a bad December, we may have been a little more distant from the top and not found this game as “small” or less important as we do now. It’s a gamble from Arsene, but if we do get 6 points from the next 2 league games, it will be a gamble worth taking. If you imagine that we do field a full team against West Ham tomorrow, players got tired and injured and we ended up dropping points to Bolton and / or Everton, we’d be kicking ourselves.

“Yes I will rotate,” said Wenger. “We had a few players who played on the edge the other night and I will try not to take too big a risk for some players who are medically vulnerable at the moment, and protect one or two more. But we will have just as strong a side as we had at Portsmouth. We have a big test today with Senderos, he could be back. He has had an inflammation under his foot and every time he started to play the pain came back. That’s why I am a bit cautious today but he will have a definite test and we will see how he responds to that.  He is physically very sharp because he has worked a lot with our fitness coach [Tony Colbert]. I just want to see now how he responds in training. I don’t know yet, it is too early. I still have 48 hours to decide. Rosicky was in the squad at Portsmouth and he could play on Sunday. But apart from that no one is back.”

Okay, time to look at the team news and rack brains to try and figure out who will be playing tomorrow. News is that Silvestre and Senderos were going to get the nod but more recent updates are that Senderos will require a fitness test in the morning. With Eboue on International duty, we may see Gilbert get a run out – I doubt we’d see the likes of Tom Cruise as we are looking to win the game more than blood the youngsters… so here’s a guess at the lineup…

Fabianski

Gilbert – Senderos – Song - Silvestre

Merida – Eastmond

Wilshere - Rosicky – Vela

Eduardo

What do you think? Too attacking…? Maybe Traore will play and Song moved to midfield…? It’s going to be interesting to see who Arsene chooses – with so many injuries, it is tempting to rest a lot of players, but we’ll see…

Remember, the game is on ITV tomorrow, coverage starting at 4pm, with kick off at 4.15pm.

Predictions, comments, feedback, bring it on… on facebook, twitter or comment below…!

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    Yeah id like Traore at left back, silvest pushing into centre half, song in midfeild with merida , and top 4 is fine i think.

  • wills

    I’d also like to see Traore at LB with Silvestre at CB and Song in midfield over Eastmond.

    Not keen on Gilbert starting, Wenger has said he can leave so why play him? He’d surely be cup tied for any Championship side wanting to come in for him?

    It’s a game that we should win, West Ham have a lot of injuries themselves and I think they’d be resting a few players too. Let’s be honest they’re not going to win it and why risk any more injuries just to play the extra cup game when you’re in a relegation battle?

    Still no news on any signings, Wenger has said he wants to get them done early, so I’d assume that means before the trip to Bolton on the 17th or the FA Cup 4th Round on the 23rd, which if I’m being brutally honest now, we could do without looking at the next 4 fixtures!!!

    Clichy should be back soon I believe. Two and a half weeks away he said he should be back in three weeks so by my maths, that means we could see him on Wednesday against Bolton or the Saturday against Everton.

    Let’s hope for an entertaining game tomorrow and a win for the ‘reserve’ team!

    Come on you Gooners!

  • jeffvip

    is good to see Senderos in the CB position again

  • http://www.footballepl.com Football Tips Expert – Wayne

    Gunners is always the great fighter in cup games. Scored 10s in 3 matches, Arsenal can easily destroy Hammers.

  • arseneKnows

    Is Senderos merely being put in the shop window today or is that too cynical a notion for our marvellous Arsene???

  • Sam

    As Cesc is due back soon, I’d expect Rambo to play:

    Fabianski

    Gilbert – Senderos – Silvestre – Traore

    Merida – Song

    Rosicky – Ramsey – Vela

    Eduardo

  • vj

    yeah i agree sam not sure tough if it will be merida or easmond, depends on whether traore plays i think, hope to see our two top finishers vela and eduardo finally look comfortable this is the sort of match they could enjoy, still its going to be tough, west ham away

  • JDD

    starting 11

    fabianski
    sagna gallas vermaelen silvestre
    wilshere song ramsey
    merida eduardo vela

  • wills

    Quite pleased with that starting XI.

    Looks like Wenger is sticking to his ‘cup-keeper’ policy, hopefully it’ll be a chance for Fabianski to put Almunia under a bit of pressure.

    There’s more than enough quality to win in that team so lets do it!

    There’s already been one Cupset so far, that’s enough for one day!!

  • Vazy

    DAMNIT

  • Vazy

    where are we? arsenal haven’t properly turned up yet… 1-0 west ham

  • http://worldofarsenal.co.uk Josiah

    i hate to think negatively but i think there could be an upset.

  • http://twitter.com/DebsGooner Debs

    We’re living so dangerously! Come on Arsenal!

  • Vazy

    Song looks like hes the only one really keeping his cool, the rest of us are running round like headless chicken..

  • Vazy

    COMON ARSENAL, you can do it, just calm down and push up

  • Vazy

    Comon, Nasri and Diaby! make your mark!

  • Vazy

    were looking a HELL of a lot more awake since the subs but still no killer ball in the final 1/3rd

  • http://worldofarsenal.co.uk Josiah

    its the shooting, were having one of those days where we cant finish.

  • http://worldofarsenal.co.uk Josiah

    COME ONNNNNNNNNN!

  • Vazy

    COOMMOOOOOOON! RAAAAAMMMSSSEEEEYYY!!!! 1-1

  • Vazy

    10 mins to take it .. what the hell…. diaby down… studs to shoulder

  • Vazy

    2-0!!!!
    EEEDDDUUUAAAAARRRDOOOOO!

    1st real presence of the game!!!

  • Vazy

    i mean 2-1

  • http://worldofarsenal.co.uk Josiah

    im not saying anything till the games over else i jynx it.

    hold on…

  • Vazy

    Now this is more like it! COMON ARSENAL!

  • Vazy

    haha fair dues josiah

  • Vazy

    5 mins fergies time

  • http://worldofarsenal.co.uk Josiah

    that is by far the most i have ever celebrated about two arsenal goals all season. I just went ABSOLUTELY MAD. I am so happy, so so happy. Come on boys.

  • Vazy

    YES!

    suspect play from 1st half from us, song kept battling though,
    and since the double substitutions we got ourselves going!

    whats better is that im sitting here with my leeds fan mate, good day of results for both of us!

  • http://twitter.com/fabrez_ Fabrez

    Is it me or was that very very tasty? Loved it! Very frustrated @ half time personally but we never gave up! Beauty by Ramsey and Edu is our number 9!! Mental strength? Check!!

  • http://twitter.com/fabrez_ Fabrez

    Time 4 the draw!

  • http://worldofarsenal.co.uk Josiah

    stoke what we saying?

  • Vazy

    its away aswell

  • http://worldofarsenal.co.uk Josiah

    do you think its winnable?

  • http://twitter.com/fabrez_ Fabrez

    Tough one! All about who comes back from injury and managing to juggle all the competitions. But I think we can do it…

  • Vazy

    of course it is, any game is winnable! true i would have preferred someone easier but saying that i defiantly fancy us to take the game

  • Vazy

    (touch wood)

  • Vazy

    it did show today that we need some depth back fit though

  • http://worldofarsenal.co.uk Josiah

    if we play a strong side i think we can win the game

  • http://worldofarsenal.co.uk Josiah

    is it just round 5 then final?

  • Vazy

    5, 6, 1/4s, semi, then final (i believe)

  • http://worldofarsenal.co.uk Josiah

    im just looking on the website now and it doesnt say any 6th round, maybe will get updated as the competition proceeds

  • http://twitter.com/fabrez_ Fabrez

    I envy Chelsea getting Watford then Preston! Just Prem sides for us. But a strong team should do the trcik. Let’s just hope we have that strength n depth sooner rather than later. Shud have back Cesc, Clichy, Theo and a match-fit Rosicky if injuries are nice 2 us. Looking fwd 2 the Bolton game already!

  • http://twitter.com/fabrez_ Fabrez

    *trick

  • Vazy

    me too Fabrez!

  • goonerman

    get in there lads! great battling performance from the boys we showed SPIRIT ! surely wenegr is going to get a couple of players he can see how hard the team is working and to keeep going on 3 front we could do with a couple of addidtions! lets all concentrate on bolton and im sure this aint gonna be an easy game!

  • http://twitter.com/DebsGooner Debs

    I think it might be good we’re getting Premier League ties, cos in the past, we kept getting easy ties at home and cruising, then when we face the big teams, we lose. If we win against Stoke, it’ll be awesome- it’ll be good preparation. And anyways, you’ve got to beat the best to be the best! :-)

  • Vazy

    couldn’t say it better myself!

  • Pete

    Great comeback from the lads. What an impact Diaby had coming on! Ramsey’s goal was quality, and Eduardo’s header was a lovely way to grab the victory by the scruff of the neck! Nice one lads.

    Not sure how I feel about Stoke in the next round, just happy about our win today :D

  • Yemi

    We always get the big teams in FA. i cant remember plyin teams like preston or nott’hm, or the likes in a long while !!!! but we are up to the task and hopefully we would have a more robust team by 23/24