“Hold onto ya butts”
That line delivered by Samuel L. Jackson in Jurassic Park has always stood out. As a young man, I saw that particular Spielberg blockbuster in the cinema the day it was released and recall being the only person to find it amusing when Jackson said it. All these years from that point, I figured it was a good piece of advice with our run of tough fixtures starting today.
Are you filled with a mixture of nerves and excitement? I am. I really am; my bladder feels like a violent whirlpool and my stomach is growling like an injured beast. Yet, I can’t stand still. Finding the concentration to remain seated long enough to type this review hasn’t been an easy task. The only reprieve I have from the startling urge to dart toward the lavatory is glorious hope.
The team news is as you’d expect. Walcott, Vermaelen Ramsey and Flamini all miss out through injury and suspension. Yayo Sanogo has defied all expectation to get a brief run-out for the U21s and continues his rehabilitation. Finding himself all alone, Abou Diaby has entered himself into a secret martial arts tournament being held on remote island. Most large betting syndicates expect him to get a bloody good hiding and disintegrate altogether.
Jack Wilshere is in the squad, but wether or not his fitness will be risked from the kick-off is open to debate. Arteta is certain to start in one of the central holding positions. Personally I think Arsene will start Jack there, move Oxlade-Chamberlain to the right side and sacrifice Lukas Podolski. That’ll be a shame, because Lukas has the ability to bury a chance with ruthless efficiency and in a game I don’t expect to be open, that could be vital. However, there’s a feeling I’m inclined to agree with that Arsene doesn’t quite trust our German No9. Wether you think that’s right or wrong, I can see Lukas being dropped today – given his lack of desire to contribute defensively, that might not be the worst thing to happen.
My guess at the team is:
In recent weeks, a great deal has been made of Olivier Giroud and our options in his position. Today, I see the game being won in midfield and defence. If Mertesacker, Koscielny and the other members of our back 5 can keep Suarez and Sturridge as quiet as they did at the Emirates, I don’t see Liverpool posing any threat. Our midfield has the ability to dominate theirs, and if Cazorla and Ozil have a good game, we’ll create plenty of chances.
Liverpool at Anfield is a tough fixture against a team in good form. They’ll be a threat to us and if we perform in our customarily poor way during the first half they will punish us. We cannot afford to wait until the 2nd 45 minutes to turn up today.
I’m going to go for a sneaky 2-1 to Arsenal. Drawing the game wouldn’t be the end of the world, but a win could send us into the remaining matches of the run with a huge confidence boost. Seasons can be made and broken during periods like this one. Some think Arsenal will wilt under the pressure, others feel there’s a different mental strength to the team and we’ll come though it. I believe we can do it. We’ll find out how capable we are of contending very soon.
That’s all for today, folks. Use the delicious comments section below to give me your thoughts on how the team should line-up and offer up a prediction of the score. Enjoy the match today and I shall return tomorrow with a review of the game.
As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.