A tonic is required. During my younger years of drinking copious amounts of alcohol and dancing embarrassingly in seedy nightclubs with questionable maidens, I swore blind that yoghurt was the ultimate cure for a hangover. Not bog-standard, plain yoghurts, no – the Muller variety, specifically those with the nice fruit on the side you could mix with the creamy treats yourself. Arsenal need something similar today; a dose of yoghurty goodness to banish horrendous feelings of the night before, Saturday in this case.
It’s not going to be particularly easy. Pointing to United’s poor form and terrible league position is all well and good, but they’re likely to raise their game for this match, they always do. Any team that can boast Rooney, Mata and that treacherous swine in attack will cause problems. Since ‘Davey’ Moyes took over at Old Trafford, they’ve floundered and blundered hilariously. We’ve all had a good chuckle seeing a once unstoppable foe look far removed from greatness. However, we underestimate them at our peril. They’ll be as eager as we are to get things back on track and will fancy coming to the Emirates after Saturday’s debacle.
As far as I’m aware, the team news is the same as the weekend, and I imagine the starting XI will be very similar – hopefully the added guile and enthusiasm of Tomas Rosicky will be introduced from the start. Theo watches from the sidelines, Thomas Vermaelen has eerily vanished without trace, The Flame is suspended and Abou Diaby is currently starring in a broadway remake of the film Deliverance in which he plays all 3 lead roles. Yaya Sanogo is training but unlikely to be match fit for a while.
There’s been quite a bit of talk regarding Mesut Ozil. Some even think he should be dropped tonight. I don’t agree. His form may have dipped and we are entitled to expect better from him, there is no disputing those facts. That said, would you leave a player of his talent out for a game this big? I know If I were a United fan, I’d be happier to see his name omitted from the line-ups.
On the subject of line-ups, here’s my best guess:
With Chelsea only managing a 1-1 draw at The Hawthornes last night, we’ve been offered a wonderful chance to capitalise and go back to the top. Like many Gooners I’ve spoken to, I face the game with equal measures of anxiety and hope. Us fans are owed a truly wonderful performance by the team when it matters because we’ve had to endure the heartache of catastrophic defeat. The players are capable of it, they just have to cast aside the mental block that prevents them from doing so against the so-called big guns.
And that’s were the anxious part comes from; the knowledge that we can bottle the big games and come away with a large loss. After losing and performing so poorly at Liverpool, I’d like to think the eagerness to right wrongs will overwhelm all tonight. However, you can never be sure with Arsenal. We just have to hope the players stand up and be counted and show what they are capable of. The rest is down to fate.
Predicting the outcome is tough. My head is telling me a draw is on the cards, but my heart says we’ll come flying out of the blocks and run away 3-0 winners. My prediction is somewhere between the two – truth be told, I have no idea what to say.
The comments await below. Let me know your thoughts on the game, the line-up and the eventual scoreline. Are your hopes high or do you fear the worst? I’ll look forward to reading a few of your feelings. Tomorrow I shall return with a review of the game.
As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.