Did you sleep well last night? Nervous? Excited?
The day of the big game is upon us. Our beloved Arsenal face arguably the toughest away trip in the Premiership fixture list; the home of ‘Fergie time’, a place where we won the league, the setting for one of our worst defeats in history – Old Trafford.
I’d be lying to you if I said I was full of bravado and super-confidence. I’d be telling the truth if I said I’d be very happy with a draw. It’s going to be a tough test of our mettle. If there is ever a time to put a few ghosts from our past to bed, that time is now. I don’t doubt for a second there is enough talent and ability in our team to beat United on their own patch. My only worry is wether or not it turns up.
The team news is pretty much as expected. Gervinho is out for 3 weeks. There was hope Szczsney and Gibbs would return, but it appears to be too early for both players. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will have a fitness test before the match, and Theo Walcott is a doubt to start having completed 120 minutes on Tuesday. Bacary Sagna and Jack Wilshere are available for selection.
As for the line-up that starts the game, my biggest worry is the form of Andre Santos. If he does start, I have no doubts he’ll be the first player targeted by Ferguson as a weak link. I would give serious consideration to playing Vermaelen at left-back. The thought of United’s speedy wingers flying towards our portly Brazilian fills me with dread.
With that in mind, my team would be:
I would be tempted to start with Frimpong, and give him strict instructions to perform a groin-high sliding challenge on Robin van Persie within the first 2 minutes. Purely because the fucker deserves it. I wonder if Robin is expecting a good reception from the Arsenal faithful? He’s not going to get one…
In all seriousness, we will need all 11 players to perform today. It’s easy to place importance on a certain area of the team, but we’ll need to be excellent in defence, midfield and attack. United are certainly very beatable, and they are weak at the back. If we can establish a footing and make good of the possession we’ll probably be allowed, we can come away with a result.
I’m a bag of nerves this morning, and I’m working. I’ll be stuck with 5Live in the background. I hope you all have got yourselves better vantage points than I. As fae as predictions on the score go, I’m going to hope for a sneaky 1-0, and a goal from Podolski. Fingers crossed, boys ‘n’ grils, and come on the Arsenal!
Thanks for reading today, you beautiful bastards. The comments are below – let me know a few of your line-ups and predictions. I shall return tomorrow with a – hopefully gushy and congratulatory – review of the game.
If you’re of the betting persuasion, and you fancy testing your predictions with a little cash at stake, you can catch all the latest odds and betting options at Bet Victor.