First of all, apologies for lack of blog in the last couple of days.
3 birthdays, 2 hospitals (don’t worry, everyone is okay) and 1 baby = me out of action for a considerable about of time.
I’m back from today and what a day to be back….
Liverpool vs Arsenal, 12:45 kick off…
Which is literally in about 3 hours from now! I’ll kick off with a quote from captain fantastic, Robin Van Persie:
That result meant that we won three Premier League games in a row in February. The Spurs game came after a really good late win at Sunderland, while you saw our attacking capabilities in the 7-1 win over Blackburn. We have lots of challenges and interesting games ahead, facing Liverpool and Newcastle early in March, but that’s what you love about being a footballer – it’s good fun and you can only thrive on it.
And part of our recent uplift in Premier League form (let’s not talk about the FA cup or CL)… is down to the players on the pitch enjoying themselves – which is a very important part to the way in which form works. Today is a pivotal game. We’re currently 4th in the league table – and we want to stay there – well, 3rd would be a better aim, but you catch my drift – it’s all about qualifying for the Champions League. If we could get the three points today, it would see a 10 point gap between us and Liverpool, and you’d have to say that it would therefore knock them out of the race, leaving 3rd, 4th and 5th to be fought out between us, Chelski and Sp*rs…
But a loss could equally catapult Liverpool back into the reckoning. For us, this season, this game is a 6-pointer!
Looking at team news, the official injury list reads as such:
Vermaelen (doubt – ankle), Van Persie (doubt – groin), Rosicky (doubt – back), Ramsey (ankle), Santos (ankle). Mertesacker (ankle), Coquelin (hamstring), Djourou (thigh), Squillaci (groin), Wilshere (ankle).
Alex Song hasn’t yet returned from International duty, so it’s a little worrying getting a first XI today. If all the injuries are confirmed, then the kind of team we will be playing will be:
Jenkinson – Sagna – Koscielny – Gibbs
Arteta – Benayoun
Walcott – Oxlade – Gervinho
And to be honest, that team looks very unbalanced and very poor… holes everywhere…
Personally, I think Van Persie, Vermaelen and Diaby could all be back in contention, so if that is the case, then we could potentially field this team:
Sagna – Koscielny – Vermaelen – Gibbs
Arteta – Diaby
Walcott – Oxlade – Gervinho
Much stronger spine there…! But the one player I hope that does come back and mysteriously able to place is Alex Song, as without him, we don’t have any real defensive cover.
Arsene commented on Liverpool’s poor home form, which does give us a little hope:
“Liverpool are a team who are in the fight for the Champions League places, and that’s why this game is so vital for us,” said Wenger at Friday’s press conference. “They always have a big support and I have a big respect for their crowd always because they are behind their team. You know when you get up there that you have to be prepared for a game with a big pace and a big drive from Liverpool. So you want to play your game and not hide.
But this game strikes me as one that means form goes out of the window. It’s a fight for fourth. The real test is today.
Come on you Gooners!