Saturday, March 05, 2011

Sunderland, here we come

Tomorrow will be our biggest test yet. Yes, I'm not kidding. If you think our past encounter with man utd was the key, you are wrong. If we had them in our clutches, we may have not been this far from them. But 4 points isn't bad at all. They have played their match & it's time for us to get ours. I know it sounds annoying but chelsea helped us to get man utd grounded for a while. They think they are invincible, but they are not. So here we are, 4 points adrift but we are yet to play our game.

This weekend, man utd will face liverpool. Though Daglish (I hope I spelled it right) men aren't in best form, I believe they can provide resistance we are craving for. I'm not thinking about their result but hoping for negative is not a sin. The most important thing for us is to stay focus and ignore whatever result our opponents are looking for. Another thing Arsenal players need to focus on is their own goals. Don't look at other upcoming matches because nothing is assured until the final whistle is blown. Barcelona players may think they are already winners but no one is unbeatable. We must not bow to pressure they're applying on to us.

Alright, enough about barca and other things. It's time for biggest test. If we could win on Saturday, we are only 1 point away from man utd. If liverpool could snatch away their points, we are more than grateful to put more pressure on them. Therefore, it is important to win the game tomorrow and bag 3 points we need. I know I sound like a robot and those scenarios are purely my imagination but anything is possible. Chelsea have proven man utd have loop holes and if we are smart, we can take advantage of their weaknesses.

I'm currently away from laptop so I cannot give you ample stats on our recent encounters with Sunderland. Last time however, they managed to sneaked in and grabbed late goal. We will not and simply cannot accept anything less than 3 points and I'm sure the boys know it. We showed character during FA match Leyton Orient and we must bring the spirit back again in order to win the game. It is important to win a game before crucial 2nd leg of champions league against the best team in the world. A few days after, we will be going to old trafford and take on man utd for quarter final FA cup.

March is the month of impossible challenges and so far we are doing good. We need to take one step at a time so we do not slip and fall. The 2nd step will be beating Sunderland at home. And that's where will I be this weekend.

And as for injury news, we have only Koscielny back for us this weekend. The likes of Cesc, Song, RvP, Walcott and Vermaelen will still be out. Cesc hamstring is doing okay and he would probably feature in return leg, while Song is still recuperating from knee injury and most likely to miss Nou Camp visit. Persie is struggling with ligament while Walcott couldn't make it due to ankle injury. Vermaelen situation has not changed and still 3 weeks out. Well, he's 3 weeks out from last Christmas anyway, so don't count on him to return this month. Rosicky, apparently survived from elbow smacking incident on Wednesday and available for selection.

With Diaby fit to make the cut, Wenger has much better choice in midfield. He no longer has to field Bendtner as a winger and can obviously place Nasri there easily. Chamakh isn't getting better, unfortunately so I'm thinking Wenger wants to put his in-form forward upfront. So here's my favorite line up:

Nasri Arshavin

Note: I have few other prediction line ups though. My guts telling me, whenever Diaby fits Wenger will always put his name on XI sheet. I want Rosicky to start ahead of him but I'm not sure he will. If Wenger sticks to his decision to put Bendtner as a winger, then we will see Chamakh upfront with Diaby in the middle and Rosicky reduced to the bench and Nasri is taking charge in Cesc's position. Anything is possible now but there's no need to risk both Koscielny and Chamakh at the same time. Our fixture is driving us crazy, therefore keeping one forward injury free is a must. Koscielny has just recovered and I don't think it is wise move to put him at risk while we are about to play the best team 3 days after.

So there you are. More updates tomorrow. Hopefully, we don't hear stupid injuries during trainings and practices. See you...
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