Friday, 13 September 2013

Arsenal's Premier League Trip To Sunderland Previewed

The international football is over for another month and it's back to what's important for football fans with the return of the Premier League. When the break came Arsenal had just beaten Spurs to move up to fourth in the league and secured their place in the group stages of this season's Champions League yet again. The opening day defeat to Villa seems a distant memory now and things certainly are looking up for Arsenal.

There's no doubt the squad is a little thin and there are plenty of players out injured at the moment too. Thankfully Arsene Wenger managed to get some business done before the transfer window closed and he brought some real class into the Arsenal squad. In my opinion Arsenal now have the best player in the Premier League and they had to smash their transfer record to land that man - Mesut Ozil.

Of course he wasn't the only player to arrive and the signing of Mathieu Flamini on a free transfer could prove to be a very good move too. They both come in to challenge for a place in an Arsenal midfield which is laden with talent. When all of his players are fit the boss will have a huge task trying to pick his best starting midfield.

After spending €50 million (say it again) on Ozil it's hard to see him being left out, but he will probably start on the bench in his first game at least. If Fernando Torres wasn't so hopeless Ozil would be the most expensive substitute in the Premier League this weekend. Whether his signing can make Arsenal title challengers this season is another matter and the lack of depth in their defence and attack could have a bearing on that.

It's not a tough job to pick most of the team against Sunderland with Wojciech Szczesny, Kieran Gibbs, Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny all more or less guaranteed to start at the back. Of course there's a case for Carl Jenkinson or Nacho Monreal to play with one or two players possibly rested for the trip to Marseille on Wednesday night. I can't see that happening myself but it's always a possibility.

In midfield it's not so easy to predict who will play, but it's a little easier with Mikael Arteta and Tomas Rosicky both ruled out. I think Aaron Ramsey has to start considering his form so far this season and it's a straight choice between Flamini and Jack Wilshere to play alongside him. The attacking player of the three in midfield is a tough one but it will go to Ozil if he starts. If he's on the bench I expect Wilshere to play there, but he may need a rest after playing twice for England.

There's always the possibility of Santi Cazorla playing there but I suspect he will get a wide left role with both Lukas Podolki and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain injured. That should leave Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud to make up the rest of the attack. Those players have plenty of goals between them and should give the Sunderland defence a tough test.

If Ozil starts he will hopefully fit in quickly and pick out the runs of Walcott behind the Sunderland defence. His presence should help Arsenal to create plenty of chances and he's a player who's more than capable of putting the ball in the net too. There could be some very exciting times ahead for Arsenal fans as Ozil gradually learns to play with his new team mates.

Sunderland have had a poor start to the season and have only one point from their first three games. There has been a lot of change in their squad over the summer and the new players will probably need some more time to fit in. It's not an easy task for them to do so when they're sitting so close to the bottom of the table.

If Arsenal can continue to play the attacking football they were playing before the internationals I think they will be more than good enough for Sunderland. I'm sure Sunderland will do all they can to stop Arsenal and Ozil will get an old fashioned English welcome to the game at some stage. The best way to put a stop to Sunderland is for Arsenal to take them on from the first minute and finish them off as early as possible.

I can't wait to see Ozil work his magic and for Arsenal to reap the benefits of having such a good player in the team. Along with Cazorla he will be the creative source in the team and his stats over the last few years are second to none in that role. For those who play fantasy football it might not be a bad idea to bring him into the team as soon as possible.

I think Arsenal will take all three points and will win by a couple of goals too. That would set them up very nicely with Marseille and Stoke coming up in the next week. The longer they can stay at the right end of the table the better it will be for team going forward.

The future is looking very bright and the club haven't spent all of their transfer kitty by quite a way. There's the possibility of new players arriving in January and it would be great if it was another high profile player who arrived. The signing of Ozil is hopefully an indication of more quality to come in the future and it has Arsenal fans the world over very excited. 

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Right ON with the blog UR just bit late with it LoL. Well by now we know Ozil starts I am just dissapointed for Rosicky not playing today how bad is his injury ???