Arsenal vs Sunderland Preview

Morning fellow gooners…

Tomorrow we play a HUGE game in Arsenal vs Sunderland and it’s so big that we’ll probably bottle it… no, seriously. I haven’t managed to gain any extra information from the pre-match conference yet, but no doubt, by the time  I publish this, there will be a whole host of new news… anywho…! The injury news ahead of the game is that Koscielny has a tight hamstring, Alex Song has a knee injury and of course Cesc is definitely not ready. Rosicky will be back in the squad, but will be unlikely to start and RvP and Theo are still quite a few weeks away!

The predicted line up will be:

Szcznesy

Sagna – Squillaci – Djourou – Clichy

Wilshere – Denilson

Nasri – Diaby – Arshavin

Bendtner

With a bench of Almunia, Eboue, Gibbs, Miguel, Ramsey, Rosicky and Chamakh

Yes, the return of Ramsey on the bench will be a very good thing – and he’ll definitely get some game time, whether we win, lose or draw… he is a good player and his return could prove pivotal in our run in!

In a strange comment from Steve Bruce, the Sunderland manager talked about the combinations and permutations of the league… and did talk about how if Arsenal beat his team, they’d be in good stead for the race:

“If they beat us they will be just one point behind ahead of United’s game against Liverpool on Sunday. Arsenal have to keep the pressure on because they are still in with a fighting chance of winning the league – they will see the game against us as one of vital importance.”

It is unusual for an opposition manager to talk about losing – could it be some triple double reverse psychology for us? I hope not! Arsene has made it very clear about his views on the title race:

“It’s down to our results – that will decide the championship. Do we win our games? It just depends on us. Every game is a cup for us. The most important trophy is the Premier League because you win the league after 38 games and you win the Carling Cup after five, six games. The race is tight, exciting. I don’t rule our Chelsea or Man City because everybody can drop points. If we maintain our consistency we have a very good chance.”

Today’s post will be short and quick… I’m off to Luxembourg to help Lady WOA move from hotel to flat… yipee!! I’ll miss the game, but Debs will be giving you a post match run down and the ever faithful Kieran Delaney will be back on Monday as usual…

Until then mes amigos… have fun!!

  • yemi

    KOS is back in the squad

  • AmriGooner

    Strangely, no news about Vermaelen.
    I think he should be back by now according to Wenger’s statements back in February.
    Any ideas?

  • vj

    @ AmriGooner:
    to be honest I checked the web about vermaelen and it doesen’t seem that hell be back anytime soon, could even miss the whole season!

  • Vazy

    @vj thats terrible news!

  • Vazy

    so gash…blatant pen… argh!

  • vj

    gutted

  • Berth

    Wenger is too sentimental with selection. Diaby and B25 ahead of Rosicky or Chamack isn’t what the team needs now. We are not winning any trophy this season yet again.Its a real shame.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Should have had a pen and arshavin was not offside IMO. But it does hide the fact our team does bottle every opportunity to win big games. Our team just can’t produce the goods when Fab and Rvp are out. Here’s hoping we have a full season with all our key players, then we will be unstoppable.

  • Berth

    Penalty decision or not. We saw them go in favour of us and against Man u recently. So any talk of decision is rubbish to me.

    The thing is that Wenger should have injected a pain killer on fab before the Birmingham city game now. For the Barc game if need be he should use pain killers for Fab; the season falling apart under 2 weeks is unthinkable. Wenger should stop this his emotions and sentiment take the better of him.

    Its understandable chipping in Diaby or b25 in a game but having Diaby, Denilson and B25 in one game doesn’t work in any way; its a criminal decision and one that undermines my being a fan.

  • Berth

    @ taking

  • http://worldofarsenal.co.uk Josiah

    You cant give fab a pain killer because we still have big games throughout the season and yes the painkiller would get him through the next big game but afterwards he would be out for even longer.

  • Tony Boy

    Wilshere was brilliant and Nasri amazing to rest going forward just not good enough. We will never win anything with players like Denilson and Diaby in midfield not good enough so clear. Wenger has completely lost will to win and why not play Ramsey if he is in the squad – no sense.

    For the sake of buying a couple of players we will completley cock it up again. I am so fed up being kick in by the media – who we cant argue with any longer because we are a bunch of bottlers!

    Only bright point is if Ramsey and Wilshere can get a partnership in midfield they could be really good for the future.

    Completely fed up as you have probably guessed.

  • Bonathan

    well, it wasn’t a good result and once again we let man utd off the hook. they can afford to lose today and still be pretty comfortable in the clear. what’s more, all of a suden united’s ‘hard’ run in won’t look so bad with the chelsea and liverpool away matches played and still top. I’m not ranting so much about the result yesterday here but more about the postion we find ourselves in in general.

    I think this has been one of the most fustrating seasons i have had as a fan. The whole world knew what our team was lacking at the start of the season, yet once again we failed to address it properly. As i type this liverpool take the lead, and we find ourselves relying on other teams to keep us in the hunt. anyway, its actually been more fustrating that we’ve done so well despite not having a top class centre back for nearly all the season. It makes you realise how much easier, and how much better it would have been had we been a bit more wiser with our money.

    2-0 liverpool. great stuff, only it just seems to rub it in more that we didn’t win since i expected united to lose today.

    A bit wiser with our money. i don’t mean spending over the odds here, but quality generally does cost money. What’s worse, spening over the odds but getting a qulity player and winning trophies, or spending a lot less, but still millions on defenders that would struggle to get in half of the sides in the premiership. I bet there’s even at lest five sides in the bottom of the premiership that genually would not pick squillaci or koscielny ahead of what they have. so why on earth would a side looking to win some of the main trophies in club football sign them?

    i look at some defenders who are in the relegation battle and think i wouldn’t mind them in our team. this should not be the case and it just shows what a nice team we still have that we have still managed to do well.

    squillaci was the most crucial signing of the two, at least KOS has time to improve, but it was correctly identified that we needed a top class experienced centre half and we signed squillaci who has became our 4th choice CB! And that’s got more to do with his lack of quality than the qulaity of the competition.

    it a nutshell, we threw 3 or 4 million pounds and possibly a few trophies down the drain (and the money that come with them). Is that being wise with your money??? we deserve to narrowly missw out on all 4 trophies this year for being so stupid.