Last weekend was one of those games pundits and fans alike thought would “show us what Arsenal are made of”. Today is exactly the same, but perhaps to a greater degree. We all knew the previous trip to Manchester City was a huge test, and many of us would have been pleased to take a draw from that match before the kick off. Today, it’s different. Today there is expectation of victory.
When things are against us, and we’re written off, I always seem to assume it’ll bring the best out of Arsenal – as if such things serve to unify and galvanise the players against a common cause. When fixtures like today turn up, when we play a big team and the prediction is simply an Arsenal win, I feel there can be an element of pressure that can serve to hinder the players.
Hopefully, I’m wrong, but I’m more nervous about this game than I was the trip to the champions.
As far as the team is concerned, Vermaelen is certain to return to the starting eleven after his bout of man-flu, and Giroud could very well start up front to give us more of a psychical threat against Chelsea’s back four. Gervinho is the most likely to drop down to the bench. I think Aaron Ramsey may lose his place as well, with a home game where more of our emphasis will be on attack. Other than those changes, I expect the team to be the same as the one that started in the league last Sunday.
Of course, I’m hoping for a win today, and I’ve the utmost confidence in our ability to get one. Chelsea aren’t as strong as their teams from the past, but they are undoubtedly a threat. If we perform to a high level, and play our game, we can beat them. If we have an off day, we may be in trouble.
That’s all for today, folks. What are you views on the team? Who would you start with upfront or in midfield? Let me know in the comments.
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Thanks for reading, you wonderful creatures.