Thursday, 19 December 2013

Arsenal Thoughts Ahead of Chelsea Game

Arsenal didn't have the greatest week last week with a Champions League defeat at Napoli and only one league point from two games. It was never going to be easy going to Napoli and then City less than 72 hours later and so it proved to be. Despite a fairly miserable week at least Arsenal stayed on top of the league for the moment anyway.

After finishing second in their Champions League group they drew the reigning champions in the last 16 and it will be very hard for them to progress. Bayern Munich weren't overly happy with the draw either as they were so nearly knocked out at the same stage of the competition by Arsenal last season. Those three games in six days were gruelling but the Christmas and New Year schedule is even more so.

It starts with a home game against third placed Chelsea on Monday night and it's a game Arsenal will probably have to win to stay on top of the table. Liverpool play at home to Cardiff on Saturday and will move one point ahead of Arsenal if they win and they will have superior goal difference. A draw would see Arsenal slip to second place and a draw would seem them drop back to third.

Arsene Wenger has never had the best of times against Jose Mourinho's teams but hopefully Arsenal can change that on Monday night. While Arsenal didn't have a great week last week Chelsea were winning a much easier Champions League group, losing to Stoke and just about beating Palace in the league. I can't say I've been overly impressed with Chelsea this season and they look vulnerable in defence to me.

Arsenal will have to do without Jack Wilshere in that game and in the following game away to West Ham after he received a two match ban for sticking his middle finger up at the City fans last Saturday. It was a little stupid of Wilshere, but at least Arsenal have plenty of alternatives and should be able to easily cope without him for those two games. His form has been up and down this season and he's by no means certain of a place in Arsenal's strongest starting team.

A bigger miss for them could be Laurent Koscielny who is extremely doubtful for the game after being stretchered off with a nasty cut to his knee against City. His partnership with Per Mertesacker has been a very important one for Arsenal this season and he will be sorely missed if he can't play. Thomas Vermaelen will take his place if he doesn't play and while he's a good defender he doesn't have the understanding with Mertesacker which Koscielny does.

With any luck Lukas Podolski will be fit to make his return from injury and carry on where he left off with the two goals he got against Fulham in his only start so far this season. He picked up his injury in that game back in August and I would imagine he will make a few appearances from the bench before starting a game. Theo Walcott did the same recently and then scored twice against City in the first game he started, but unfortunately it wasn't enough for Arsenal on the day.

Finally for today Arsenal had their Christmas party on Wednesday night and it was a fancy dress affair. It seems to have gone down very well as you can see from the picture below.

Don't forget to read my weekly Premier League Predictions blog where I predict the outcomes of all of the upcoming Premier League games and attempt to give tips to fantasy managers.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.


  1. I have been reading about transfer market coming up and link to this and that thees spanish teams that are involved in CL as Arsenal does too will not Sell their top strikers to Arsenal. So not sure why these people come up with thees stories???

    1. Transfer rumours get more hits than any other stories so a lot of people posting them aren't too concerned about whether they're true or not.

  2. this will be a dicey one without Wilshere but especially without Koscielny. I hope that Chelsea's mid-week fixture with Sunderland wears them down physically and emotionally. They've slogged through most of their recent matches, manufacturing points in an ugly manner, but points are points. Meanwhile, we've seemed a bit sluggish ourselves. I hope we see a midfield of Cazorla, Rosicky, and Ozil left to right with Ramsey and Flamini behind them.

    1. I wouldn't be surprised to see both Flamini and Arteta deployed to protect the defence as I felt we should have done at City. There's a good chance of Walcott starting too which would mean the other 3 places would have to be for Ozil, Ramsey and Giroud.