Arsenal vs Udinese – Champions League Qualifying Round Match Preview
No matter how much stuff is going on in the background, no matter how you’re feeling right now – we’ve all got to put that to one side, as today we have a £25m game and we need to win it. Udinese will be going all out to score at the Emirates, the team is in the middle of a transition, but as fans, we’ve got to get behind the team. It’s going to be one of the toughest Champions League qualifiers that we’ve ever had, but we do have the quality to beat Udinese. Cesc has left, and for the last couple of years, being dogged by injury, we’ve played and won a lot of games without him. Samir Nasri and Robin Van Persie will also miss the game through suspension and that makes the game even tougher.
With Bendtner in negotiations to leave, Carlos Vela not in visible sight and Robin Van Persie suspended, we have a lack of fire power – Chamakh seems most likely to start and with Rosicky out of action, it looks like Arshavin may deputise behind the striker, meaning Gervinho and Walcott will marshal the wings. Jack Wilshere will be missing, as will Abou Diaby, so the midfield two could be the same as Newcastle. Rumours that Koscielny has picked up a knock mean that we may see Djourou replace him in the centre of defence.
Sagna – Djourou – Vermaelen – Gibbs
Ramsey – Song
Walcott – Arshavin – Gervinho
With a bench of Fabianski, Jenkinson, Squillaci, Koscielny, Frimpong, Lansbury, Oxlade Chamberlain
Lansbury was omitted from last night’s reserve game, and will most likely be on the bench with fellow youngsters Oxlade, Jenkinson and Frimpong – but how thread bare is that bench? We don’t have any strikers on the bench, and the only attacker on the bench is the 17 year old Oxlade Chambelain… we definitely need more players in our squad!
Arsene spoke about the game and said:
“I just expect my team to have a good game on Tuesday and that will encourage their belief and strengthen their belief. I understand everybody’s worry, but I believe as well a club is a united front. Our players need the support from our fans. It is an important period for this club, but I am confident we will get over it in a very successful way. We need to remain united and not let the media manipulate our fans in a way they should not.”
On Udinese he continued:
“You never knock somebody from Italy out in an easy way so we prepare ourselves for big challenges. We are ready to give our all to be part of the Champions League group stage. I expect a game of 180 minutes where we will have to be at the top for as long as we can and not dream that after 90 minutes it will be over. That would be the right approach.”
Udinese goalkeeper, Samir Handanovic, spoke about the tie and strength of the team.
“We know Arsenal is a strong team, they usually get eliminated only by Barcelona, but Arsenal are not only Fabregas, Nasri and Van Persie. We are different than one year ago too.”
The Fallout from the Newcastle Game Continues
Both Arsenal and Newcastle have been charged with “failing to control their players” last Saturday – personally, I don’t think such an event warranted an FA charge on both clubs – compared to what we have seen in recent times, there wasn’t much to it. Barton will not face any disciplinary action as he was yellow carded, but Gervinho will have a 3 match ban for the
punch, slap, touching of Barton’s face… Alex Song was also charged via video evidence and will also be served a three match ban. It’s going to be a very light midfield against Liverpool with a likely trio of Ramsey, Frimpong and Rosicky, but needs must and that’s what we’re working with at the moment.
Newcastle have already confirmed, but I think