Arsenal welcome the Cottagers to the Home of Football who will also be playing their second London Derby of the season today – they will play four in their first five matches, with Spuddies and Chavs to come.
Silva’s men have started brightly with a well earned draw against last season’s runners-up, a draw away to Wolves and a narrow 3-2 home win v Brentford.
They play with both discipline and freedom and Silva clearly is a good manager. They will come to us with confidence and a nothing to lose attitude, and Arsenal are in for a battle. Anyone who has already banked the three points for this game should think again. This will be a good tactical battle and Arteta and Silva will relish it.
Mikel’s first task is to get rid of any complacency; this is a potential banana skin. Silva has a nice combo of attackers with Mitrovic a classical CF in the mould of Shearer, and the beautifully named De Cordova-Reid a more mobile, dribbler type of player. It will be good to see how Mitrovic l, three PL goals already, and Jesus, the King of goals/assists, will play in attack today.
In midfield there is also a good skill set with the likes of Palhinha, Reed, Carney and Pereira. I don’t think they will come to park the bus but will want to play passing football. Yes they will concede most likely, but they know they can score goals too. So I am expecting an open, proper modern football game tonight. Those who prefer ‘real men’ football may want to watch some old tapes instead 😅
This is of course also the battle of the goalkeepers, and Bernd should get a great welcome by the fans. Oh boy will he be up for this, and I am worried about him playing a worldy against us today.
Are we going to see any changes is the big question? No new injuries and they all had a week’s rest, so my money is on the same starting eleven.
We may see subs being made earlier, so the subs-police may be a bit happier today. We have another PL game midweek, so we should see more players being used this week. Maybe Arteta has a ‘squad-three-matches’ plan and will rest a few ‘first team’ players, today. White, Zinchenko, Martinelli and the Ode could for example be rested to start on Wednesday v Villa, with then Saliba, Xhaka, ESR and Eddie getting a rest. Let’s see how Mikel will approach this and the other two games in the coming weeks.
The Guardian’s predicted lineups:
Of course it is also OGAAT as the only thing Mikel can influence directly today is the game v the Cottagers.
My first ever Arsenal home game was v Fulham at Highbury. I had to watch it in the away section – the only way to get a ticket. They scored early on and were delighted for a couple of minutes… Then they realised they had poked a wasp nest; I could sense the fear. The game ended 4-1 with goals by TH, PV and Lauren. I will never forget the speed and athleticism of the Gunners that day, something you will notice so much more when you are live at a game.
Anyway, enjoy the game. CoyrrGs!