Milan vs Arsenal: The Champions League Preview

After the dramatic win on the weekend, we’ve had a sudden, but different outlook on the rest of the season. Whereas a week or two ago, we were looking at 7th, finishing outside of Europe, we’re now 4th and ready to push forward in the league to solidify 4th as ours. We have recently been given back some of our injured players, and the rise of Oxlade and the return of Henry to the club have added some additional strength in depth to the squad. It’s told, and our results have been a little better for it.

Tomorrow, we take on Milan – at the San Siro – and it’s a chance to showcase our talents and re-establish the faith. It is certainly the tie of the round, and it’s a game that will be watched by millions. Vice captain, Thomas Vermaelen is really excited about the tie – as he should be, and spoke about it to the press:

“We are all really excited. It is a big game – an important one too – so it’s a good one to look forward to. For everybody it will be special so it will be a great evening.  Of course they have a great history and they have won it a few times. They still have some good players and they are a solid team. They are also doing well in Serie A. It won’t be easy but I am confident that we can qualify. The San Siro is a great stadium of course and it will be a great evening. I think it is probably the best game of the round and a lot of people will be watching.”

And that’s right – it’s a profile game with some big names – outside of our squad, the pitch will entertain the likes of Pato, Robinho and Ibrahimovic, and we all know what they can do. It’s up to us to stop them, and with Per Mertersacker out through injury, it looks like Koscielny and Vermaelen will be our central defensive partnership with either Coquelin or Gibbs playing at left back.

The line up could well be:

Szcznesy

Sagna – Koscielny – Vermaelen – Coquelin

Song – Arteta

Walcott – Rosicky – Oxlade

Van Persie

Rosicky has been preferred to Ramsey in recent games, and the Welshman has looked jaded recently – his cameo appearances are good though and coming off the bench, he can add a lot.

It’s Henry’s last game (for the forseeable future) as an Arsenal player, and although he’ll be on the bench, I think we’ll see a glimpse of him… it’s his farewell game after all… but the player is fully focused:

“I have not thought about it. I just want to help Arsenal on the night. I am an Arsenal player for one more game. Milan is Milan. It is another type of game and it is never easy to win away in the Champions League. All we wanted was momentum [from the Sunderland game], to try to get wins and clean sheets.”

It will be sad to see Henry go, it’s been very nice having him around recently. But, go he must do… but he’ll be back. I don’t know when, he probably doesn’t know when… But he’ll be back!

Tomorrow is the Milan game, let’s get behind the team.

Tottz is back as usual for tomorrow’s blog… so until then Milan, have fun!

  • afc4life

    We should have brought Henry back a long time ago.
    Now, we should keep him.

  • Leroy

    i can’t wait for the game tomorrow but,what is more important,the fa cup or finishing forth ??i have heard a lot of afc fans devided on this subject. winning the fa cup would be great because it’s a trophy,but would i take it over a champs lge spot,i honestly don’t know.the problem today is the champs lge can bag a club between 20/30m,whereas the fa cup just banks a club 1m,so no competition on that.football is now about the price tag as the song goes,so whats you choice guys???it would be a very good season if we could finish forth and win the fa cup because that may convince(with major signings in summer)rvp to sign a new contract.all i do know is we have a potential 17/24 cup finals to play.c’mon you reds.

  • Gavin

    Fantastic result at the week-end and even if a draw was a fairer result by all accounts, who’s complaining? Wenger’s got a few selection problems now as he’s bound to rotate with the Cup match at the week-end- what’s the priority? Playing Van Persie is crucial to continuing in any competition, but he’s going to the limit with him now and surely need a rest soon. I’ve a horrible feeling that Djourou will play in the centre tomorrow, with Vermaelen still at left back. Wenger simply will not trust either Gibbs or Coquelin against AC, although I think the latter should play. I also suspect Arshavin might start instead of OC- again because of the old “experience” reason, which no-one here will buy. Who know what team will play on Saturday against Sunderland who’ll have had a week off? In the past Wenger has prioritised the CL and Premiership over the other Cups, so might do again. I think we have a chance of fourth now, if we have no more injuries, but that depends on AVB staying at Chelsea! If Hiddink comes to the rescue again, which he’s likely to do before too long, I believe they’ll still pip us to fourth place. He’s a manager who’s available and knows what he’s doing.