Arsenal vs Bolton Match Preview

Afternoon fellow Gooners,

It’s officially match day and that means it’s time to play Bolton (again)… in about [insert the numbers of hours until after the game] hours time, we could be top of the table. Yes, top of the table, for the first time since [insert the last time we were top of the league].

It’s an amazing feat considering how far behind we were a couple of weeks ago – but of course, we must forget the fact that we may go top and concentrate on the game itself, and something Arsene agrees with.

“It is a good target. But let’s first of all focus on winning the game, that is the most important thing. We are there to win. At the moment [going top] has not too much as a mathematical meaning. But it has a psychological meaning, yes. It shows we are there and will fight at the top of the table but mathematically it has not too much significance because it is a long way to go. It also shows that everybody wrote us off but we are back in it. That is a step we have definitely made.”

We will be without a few players as normal, with Nasri and Ramsey definitely out and Merida joining them on the injury list. Denilson and Walcott return today and news coming out of the Emirates is that Denilson will start ahead of Eastmond with the young prodigy being dropped to the bench and in the mindset for the game on Sunday against Stoke instead with the FA cup being less of a priority.

The line up today based on the noises we’re hearing should be:

Almunia

Sagna – Gallas – Vermaelen – Clichy

Denilson – Diaby

Rosicky – Cesc – Arshavin

Eduardo

It looks like Clichy should be straight back into the first team too, having been on the bench against Bolton (the away leg), and with Arshavin most likely to be rested against Stoke, he shpuld play today. The line up above does look quite strong. We of course have Vela on the bench too – so depending on whether we can see Rosicky play two games in a row or depending on whether Arshavin is indeed rested, we will see who gets the nod.

With back to back games against the opposition, it’s important we’re focused and Arsene has re-iterated this point:

You would tend to think that [the hard work was done on Sunday],” he said. “But I believe in our intelligence and the rational part of my brain tells me that Bolton fought very hard and gave us a very difficult game.

“So let’s focus really to be on top on Wednesday. I feel if we are not completely 100 per cent focussed we will not win the game. It will be highly important for us to have a go and play without any handbrake. But also we must prepare to play at a high tempo and give absolutely everything for 90 minutes. To surprise them is difficult because everybody knows you cannot change too much the way we play football from one day to the next, so they will know us. But we will certainly play with a higher collective pace than we did on Sunday because we will be at home. Our fans will be behind us and being at home puts us in an even stronger position. Our fans can help us win matches. It is a little bit a special [situation] but we have a little psychological advantage from the first game so let’s take it.”

On a separate note, and I’m not sure if there is any truth in this, but apparently we’re after Fulham defender Chris Smalling. We did discuss this in the comments a few days back but it looks like the BBC, Sky Sports and a whole host of sites are reporting a move for him today:

Sky Sports News understands that Arsenal have made a move for Fulham’s promising defender Chris Smalling. The Gunners see the 20-year-old defender as an excellent prospect for the future and could pay as much as £7million to secure his services.

Maybe if we’re about to agree a deal that may see Senderos go to Celtic (which has it’s own will he / won’t he saga behind it with Mowbray saying he’s not after the player but the player saying the move is on the cards)… then maybe this young lad will be brought in as an option – cover for Gallas / Vermaelen and can also play at right back. Every time we need a forward, we seem to sign a right back (a la when Sagna came in) and it seems to be an interesting move…

  • Sam

    C’mon Arsenal!

  • Gooner Get Ya

    We need to get the crowd roaring tonight and silence the northern monkeys!!

    I am hoping and praying we win tonight!!! Come on you reds!!!

    I also think Smalling will be a good signing. We are slowly building up our English head count…which is good news.

  • Johan

    Huntelaar looks to be available, and has decent size. He has the skills but hasn’t done well at Milan or Real – a Wenger project?

  • devday

    @GGY, interesting one in Smalling, he is relatively unknown and I’m not seen much of him!

  • devday

    @Johan – I think Huntelaar would do really well under Wenger – but I think that about every player! We do have the best coaches and integration techniques too.

    For Arsene, players aren’t players, they’re part of the Arsenal family!

  • ermias

    Arsenal is best because there are people who knows football.

  • devday

    Just because it’s worth repeating, news today…

    Debts at the parent company of Manchester United have increased to £716.5m ($1.17bn), according to its latest accounts.
    The company, called Red Football Joint Venture, is owned by the Glazer family and secures its debts against the football club.

  • Josiah

    COME ON ARSENAL!

  • Marc Callan

    Lads,

    any stream for the game or is it on Skysports? I am looking for a 3-0 win tonight

  • Sam

    4-1 for me. Go Gunners!

  • Josiah

    I hope we can win by a big margin

  • Pete

    Marc, here’s a stream mate:

    atdhe.net/12018/watch-arsenal-vs-bolton-wanderers

  • Josiah

    oh dear

  • Josiah

    come on we can do this.

  • Josiah

    what an effort by eduardo.

  • Josiah

    so close from arshavin

  • Josiah

    good save by almunia

  • Josiah

    penalty to bolton, are we going to blow it?

  • Josiah

    2-0 bolton

  • manoo

    what the hell is going on?

  • Sam

    One of those nights! 0-2. WTF?!

  • manoo

    that link doesnt seem 2 be workin any more

  • Josiah

    i really dont know, do you think we can still win this game?

  • Josiah

    oh so close!

  • manoo

    weve dun it b4…
    against bolton..
    at the reebok
    4 goals in bout 60 mins
    no problem

    (this is a bit of a joke tho)

  • Josiah

    off the bar!

  • Josiah

    just 1 before half time is what we need

  • Josiah

    yes come on
    we needed that come on

  • sampson

    does anyone have a link to an online stream?

  • Sam

    I have a feeling we’ll win it in the 2nd half. Fingers crossed!

  • Josiah

    arsene drill em at half time. Make em come out and get the goals we need

  • Josiah

    hopefully sam

  • Sam

    Breathing earlier now! 2-2.
    Bit lucky but let’s keep it between us.

  • Sam

    Easier.

  • Josiah

    cesc fabregas captain fantastic

  • Marc Callan

    Pete,

    Thanks for the link, works on off but better than watching on skysports online…Last goal was class by Cesc, good times…

  • Josiah

    come onnnnnnnnnnnn

  • Marc Callan

    I just love that guy, what a defender!

  • Josiah

    thomas vermaelen get in there

  • Sam

    Didn’t I tell u?! 3-2.
    1 more & top of EPL.
    Come on Gunners.

  • Marc Callan

    good tackle by Diaby, really has gone up my estimation

  • pires

    What happened to Diaby?

  • Josiah

    my stream has just gone bust.

  • Josiah

    but arshavin has scored. COME ON ARSENAL!

  • pires

    4-2 Andrey Arshavin!!! we did it!!

  • Josiah

    was it a good goal, i didnt get to see, please describe it to me. unfortunately my stream was 6 minutes behind :S

  • Sam

    Great charactor, 4-2 is just enough.

  • Sam

    @ Josiah – every goal has been wonderful. Too beautiful to describe.

  • Josiah

    haha its okay my friend told me, i saw every goal but arshavins

  • Sam

    Congratulations to all Gunners! We like it on top.

  • Pete

    Top of the league !!!! :-)

  • Arseneknows

    WE ARE SO TOP OF THE LEAGUE!!
    COME ON!!

  • manoo

    abolutely briliant response!

  • manoo

    watchin the highlights on ss1, fabregas has 2 be the best player on the planet rite now. the effort by everyone, especially fabs was amazing. this is another reason to love the arsenal.
    BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jeffo

    Folks for future streaming needs i use a web site called mighty football, go to the live football section and you will find every game on the planet for that day with a choice of about 20 links for EPL games.

  • Josiah

    this could turn out just how we want it to. rest everybody for the stoke game, bring first team back for the run of 4 hard games.

  • arseneKnows

    Man, I just watched the press interview with Arsene on Skysports – and he totally makes a slip about the possibility of Smalling being signed from Fulham – he seems to be coasting the question about Smalling then just at the last moment he cocks up his shield – check it out people!!!

    Does Arsene make a slip re: Smalling from Fulham in his interview about the match tonight??

    I reckon there are conversations between the clubs based on that slip – have a look!!

  • Yemi

    @jeffo: What is the URL for the streaming site ?