Arsenal Need To Crush City’s Fighting Spirit
Manchester City arrive at The Emirates this evening presenting Arsenal with the first opportunity since 2006/07 to take six points from a top four team. On their travels, City have taken more points (20) than Arsenal (18) have won at home. That they have played one game more is not overly important, simply that the visitors have so far significantly improved.
So far this season, City have only travelled to Tottenham of the top four, a goalless draw on the opening day of the season. In short, they ought to be in the position they are in with the way that the fixtures have fallen. It might explain in part why their away record is looking good at the moment.
They arrive bereft of their most creative force – David Silva – and denying Jack Wilshere the chance to go, “Mario Who?“, with Balotelli out injured. Whilst the Italian international is beginning his City career, another is coming to an end surely with Adebayor losing to Kolo Toure by two falls and a submission in a training ground incident yesterday. I’m sure that it had nothing to do with the icy stare from Patrick Vieira either.
It is an unsurprising event; Adebayor cannot claim that he wants more money from Madrid since City will probably end up bearing the brunt of his wages when he leaves. Picking a fight with a colleague is the only other way out. He is perhaps the first high profile departure. How far his star has fallen is marked by his suitors: (the unrealistic) Real Madrid, (the realistic) West Ham and Malaga.
His fall simply serves as another warning to those whose head is turned by the offer of more money elsewhere: leaving Arsenal is not always a good career move.
Onto Arsenal. Arsene reported that he has no new injuries to worry about with nobody returning either. Given that the XI which took the field against Chelsea and Birmingham won those games at a canter, it would be a brave decision to change that line-up. Two players spring immediately to mind for resting; van Persie and Djourou. Yet with both likely to get a ten day rest for the matches against Leeds and Ipswich, they must surely start tonight.
Having pressed and harried in both recent wins, it is imperative that there is more of the same tonight. City will more than likely string five across the middle and look to frustrate. Arsenal need to get their passing game into full swing from kick-off, stretching the visitors from the start. Walcott’s pace is more than a match for either of the visitor’s full backs, especially as Lescott is little more than a converted centre back, suspect positionally when faced with a quick opponent.
The line-up I would expect is:
Fabianski; Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy; Fabregas, Song, Wilshere; Walcott, van Persie, Nasri
With Manchester United winning last night, avoiding defeat is essential. A win would seriously damage the vanquished party in terms of a title challenge. Yet as we have seen this season, consistency is not easy to come by. If Arsenal do not lose, it will be the first time since the opening month of the season that they have gone more than three games undefeated in the Premier League. A good time to put that run together is now.
Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.
Posted on January 5, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Manchester City, Premier League, Soccer. Bookmark the permalink. 422 Comments.