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:
Sagna – Koscielny – Vermaelen – Coquelin
Song – Arteta
Walcott – Rosicky – Oxlade
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!