The Armchair Gooner

An Arsenal blog bringing you news, opinion and humour on a daily basis. Well, I'll try at the very least…

Arsenal’s starting XI for the game against Wigan (match preview and round-up).

Saturday Dec 22nd: FA Premiership, Wigan Athletic (a)

Morning campers!

Continuity has been notable by its absence with Arsenal throughout the season. No sooner does a brief glimmer of light appear on the horizon, is it quickly extinguished by an ability to do something breathtakingly inept. Good results and performances have shared equal exposure with those that we’d all sooner forget.

Today is an excellent opportunity to go into a game on the back of a solid, winning display and build on it. Wigan, with all due respect, are opponents we should beat, and be able to do so with minimal fuss.

The team news is practically non-existent. Triumph at Reading on Monday night saw us pick up no fresh injuries, and, at the time of going to print, there are no doubts or late fitness tests. Taking that into account, the personnel and formation from that win should remain the same.

As you were, Arsenal:

Deploying Walcott as a striker proved effective. What he lacks in Giroud’s presence and ariel ability, he makes up for with pace, and playing on the shoulder of defenders. His quickness scares his marker, who drops off deeper and leaves more space in which our midfield can operate – Santi Cazorla especially benefits from this.

Wigan are a side we’ve blundered against in the past, but today I wouldn’t expect anything other than an Arsenal victory. If we are to cement our claim for one of the qualifying spots for the Champions League, December’s succession of apparently winnable fixtures is an excellent place to start.

Of course, you never really know what you’re going to get with Arsenal. Expectation goes both way, and the pessimist inside me keeps tapping the side of my head and saying, “James, don’t forget how shit we can be in defence”. That’s always a worry, but the corner we all yearn Arsenal to turn has to be navigated eventually. Victory today could just be the start of that.

I’m predicting a decent 3-1 win, and a couple of goals from Theo.

In other news, several reports today have emerged linking us to a striker – Barcelona’s David Villa. It’s alleged across many press outlets and sources of gossip that Arsene is keen to take him on loan in January, with a view for a possible permanent move should the Spaniard take to Premiership football. As a stop-gap, it would be a brilliant signing – Villa certainly has pedigree and he undoubtedly knows where the goal is. However, at 31-years-old, he wouldn’t offer us much in terms of longevity. Of course, as if so often the case, any story like this should be taken with an enormous pinch of salt, but it’s one of the better speculations I’ve heard in a while.

That’s all for today, folks. Today is my last working day before a greatly appreciated break for 12 days. I’ll be stuck in a kitchen listening to 5Live before I can study any game footage later in the evening. I hope you enjoy the match from wherever you are spectating.

The comments await a few of your views. How would you line-up? Do you think Arsene shouldn’t tinker, and leave a winning team as it is? Or would you consider starting with the collective might of Gervinho and Ramsey (I’m joking…)? Let me know what you think.

Finally today, I’ll point those of you partial to a bet on the game toward Bet Victor. Those signing up as new members will receive £25 to stake on the outcome of their choice. You can register here. Thomas Vermaelen has scored in each of his 3 appearances against Wigan, so putting some cash on him to make it 4 could be a good flutter.

Wigan vs Arsenal odds.

I shall return tomorrow with a full review of the game.

Category: Match previews

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  • MQ says:

    I might go with Giroud and Arshavin to start to break down Wigan in the 1st half and then kill them at 60 minutes with Walcott/Carzola combo! Going 2-nil Gunners!!!! Cheers enjoy your break dude! In the transfer market I go for striker Bas Dost of Wolfsburg young 23 striker and Dutch he scores goals? Peace.

    December 22, 2012 at 8:41 am
  • Olagoke says:

    But i prefer GIROUD upfront rather than Theo Walcot

    December 22, 2012 at 9:14 am
    • James 'Raul' Stokes says:

      I think Giroud is beneficial depending on the type of opposition. Against a team intent on defending deep for 90 minutes, Theo wouldn’t have the space to use his pace, Giroud holds the ball up better and is far more of a threat in the air.

      December 22, 2012 at 9:40 am
  • Maina says:

    Yeah, d presence of Walcott is always a threat. I am a lot more confident with him on d pitch, he keeps defenders busy. His new central role? Time will tell

    December 22, 2012 at 9:30 am
  • mukhtar says:

    I prefer charmack than Giroud, but let give walcot more chanceses and see what he can offer..

    December 22, 2012 at 9:55 am
    • James 'Raul' Stokes says:

      Chamakh? Seriously? You’re in a minority!

      December 22, 2012 at 10:00 am
      • kkk says:

        Chamakh? If u plan was to make us laugh , u sure did…let the boss use the same team he used against reading and we would be fine…

        December 22, 2012 at 11:05 am
  • Jenson says:

    Walcott over giroud all day, doesn’t matter about arial ability as arsenal play along the floor anyway, only when giroud is on do they hoof it, theo is a better finisher , faster, and alot better player in all, arsenal to win 3-0, Walcott with 2 and podolski

    December 22, 2012 at 10:36 am
  • mav361 says:

    Walcott today for me i like Giroud a lot but Wigan aren’t a team that likes to park the bus they leave a bit of space between the midfield and back four so i can definitely see Walcott exploiting that so me finks 3-1 to the gooners and us into 3rd place albeit only for a few hours……

    Cant see us keeping a clean sheet tho i really can’t

    Enjoy your 12 days off James i trust the local hostelries in Bristol will enjoy a significant leap in takings during this time as your off mine in Devon certainly will

    ps Mukhtar must have been taking the piss about Chamakh surely………………………………

    December 22, 2012 at 11:40 am

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