Today I’m off to the ‘Big Smoke’ with assorted friends from the Goonersphere Podcast to enjoy an event at the Grosvenor Casino in Piccadilly Circus – they’ve invited myself and other bloggers down to watch the game, enjoy free food and drink and added the opportunity to meet Nigel Winterburn.
Because of this delightful opportunity, I’m spending the vast majority of my day travelling from Gloucester to Paddington and back again – a hefty, arduous trek but always worth it to meet up with good people. Unfortunately – or fortunately, depending on your perspective – this entry will be cut criminally short.
Today is one of those matches that does have some significance regarding the eventual standings in our Champions League group, but nothing especially vital given we’re already guaranteed qualification for the final 16. Dortmund sit 2 points ahead of us before kick-off and, barring something spectacularly awful against Anderlecht, will finish as the group winners.
We have an outside chance of topping the final table, but most Arsenal odds pint to the likelihood we’ll be looking at yet another year where we dread the draw for the next round as 2nd place almost certainly means a face-off with one of Europe’s elite. With that in mind, Arsene is going to field a weakened side – the team sheet was bizarrely released yesterday and does include the huge bonus of the return of Mathieu Debuchy.
We’ll line-up like this (It’s a guess which full-back positions Debuchy and Bellerin will start in as I’m completely unsure):
To be perfectly honest, I can’t see us winning tonight. I’ve seen this match many times before; having already secured a place in the next round, Arsenal travel to a difficult away game with a weakened side, show odd glimpses of their good side but ultimately lose by 2 or 3.
Perhaps the likes of Podolski and Campbell will put on a show as they have a point to prove, but I’m entirely confident we’ll see nothing remotely memorable. It’ll be like watching S.W.A.T last night – mildly distracting, but as sh*t as I thought it would be.
I’ll predict a tedious loss that we’ll all forget within a few days as it has no impact at all – unless Dortmund lose, then the knives will be out questioning why Arsene didn’t field the strongest side available. More rage, more anger, more petulence. Blah blah blah blah….Personally I agree with the rotation and, on paper at least, that’s a side that is capable of earning a victory. We’ve players in need of a break and now’s a good time to give them one.
Anyway, folks, I must dash as I have a train to catch, Whilst I’m gone, feel free to drop a comment – I’ll get around to moderating them when I can. It is proving tricky as the WordPress app for my phone is egregiously unpredictable and bloody irritating.
I’ll be back to report on the game when I can. Until then, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.
I almost forgot!!
The FA Cup 3rd round draw was made yesterday – we’ve a rematch with Hull City at The Emirates to look forward to. Fix? Your guess is as good as mine…