Another cup-final awaits us at Loftus Road.
The (not so) Super Hoops were officially relegated last week and for them the game is more or less meaningless. However, a number of individuals, knowing that the game is televised as well, will want to use the last opportunity this season to showcase themselves, with a desperate hope that somebody will come and save them from Championship football.
And with HR saying today that nobody should expect QPR to go back up straightaway and that they might even do a ‘Wolves’ next season, I reckon he will have managed to scare them all into finding another club as soon as possible – and help the club to reduce the wage bill considerably in the process.
It looks like QPR find themselves in a horrible mess and who knows how it all will end…
Let’s hope that the likes of Julio Cesar (or Green), Taarabt or Remy, etc do not produce a ‘world-class’ performance against us on Saturday, as we could really do with QPR taking it easy.
I cannot help but feel that Arsenal are running on their last legs at the moment, especially up-front. As expected, Giroud’s suspension means we need to adjust our attacking formation and game plan. Arsenal are often slow to adjust to a key player missing out for a while (Mertesacker and Arteta’s injuries last year come to mind), and it remains to be seen whether our attack will be well-drilled, focussed AND potent once more against the Hoops.
Key question is therefore, who will start up-front: Theo, Pod or maybe even Gervinho?
Many have questioned whether Podolski is fit enough to play in the central striker position at the moment, and I have a feeling he will not start tomorrow but is likely to be used as a substitute. Theo on the wing has not done much for us recently, and I have a feeling he will start centrally tomorrow.
This leaves us with ‘the wingers’. I reckon QPR will sit back a lot and make it hard to penetrate them through the middle. Therefore, good wingplay is key, which in my view means that either Gervinho (my preference) or Ox will start – maybe even both?! But playing Gervinho – Theo – Ox together is untried and therefore risky; it would also mean Arsene would have to leave two of Jack, Santi and Rosicky out of the starting line-up – assuming that Wenger won’t tinker with the Arteta-Aaron axis in midfield.
So, who will start up-front and in the hole tomorrow. With a meagre two goals in our last three PL-games, Wenger will have to choose as many players as possible who can score a goal (or two) tomorrow, and yet he will need to have a threat from the wing(s) as well. I am going with Cazorla – Theo – Ox up-front.
This leaves me with the question who will play behind them: Jack or Tomas…. Not an easy choice right now. If Tomas is fully fit, I reckon he’ll start with Jack replacing him after 60-70 minutes. Jack does not look fully fit to me at the moment, but if he has been training well this week, he could start against QPR…. I go for Tomas.
As said above, I expect Ramsey and Arteta to play behind the attackers and in-front of our back four. Our back four will probably have Koz and BFG as our CB’s, and I reckon it will be Nacho on the left this time and Jenkinson on the right.
The full backs will be very important tomorrow as we need drive, confidence and quality contributions by them – both in defence as well as in supporting our wing-play. I am going for Nacho because Wenger seems to alternate between him and Gibbs from one game to the next, and for Jenkinson, because I reckon Sagna needs a little break and we could really do with the Finglishman’s drive and tenacity tomorrow.
My predicted line-up in summary:
I am desperately hoping for a focussed, energetic and powerful display by the entire team, and taking all three points home tomorrow. Arsenal did not manage to win any of the last six away games in the league against QPR (L2 D4), so fingers crossed we’ll break that mini-trend tomorrow.
Come On You Rip-Roaring Gunners – Do us proud!
Written by: TotalArsenal.