Rambo/Coq in DM pivot, Iwobi/Theo on wings, Alexis CF: Arsenal v Spurs Preview and likely Line-up

A short but sharp match preview as we all know what is at stake here: pride, NLD bragging rights, a six point gap, and leading the table before the November interlull. I reckon it has been a great achievement to get level with Pep’s City and now we have the chance to overtake them, which would just be bliss. Of course Pool will have something to say about who will lead the table at the end of the day, but we must just concentrate on our challenge. It is about time that we beat the Spuds again, but it will not be easy despite their recent form.

Wenger has been able to rest the players who do most of the running for us: Nacho, Bellerin, Iwobi, Ox, Elneny and Theo. It is not entirely clear who of those are deemed fit to play as Arsenal.com has not updated its info re this since Thursday. It is to be expected that the Spuds will mainly play compact at the back with a desire to spring a counter as soon as we make a mistake. They will also press us high when they can but always in such a way that there is very little chance we can break them easily. Pochettino has his teams play a lot like Mourinho’s old Chelsea: they are hard to break down and score against and rely heavily on an in-form striker or two to win games for them. The latter they do not have currently and let’s hope this will remain the case today. We must play with care but also take the initiative and without any doubt will give away a few chances today, so our defensive discipline and their ability to take their chances will be a key factor.

Having said that, Arsenal have an in-form strike force and a strong midfield to boss the Spuds in their own half, and can create chances in the process. But we will have to take those opportunities early on to have a really good chance to win. If we are not leading by say 30-35 minutes it could become a tricky one for us.

I reckon, subject to fitness, that Arsene knows 9 of his 11 starters. The two areas where he will have some doubt is who to play next to Coquelin and whether to play Theo, Ox or Rambo on the right. We need to be solid in the double DM pivot with a strong focus on defensive duties and athleticism to cover the box to box challenges. Santi could play a big part in helping Ozil to crack open the Spuds’ bus but he may not be fit enough to play. I also doubt whether he is the right player to play as B2B in today’s game. For me, it is either Xhaka, Elneny or Ramsey. I would go for the Egyptian and play Rambo on the right ‘wing’ position. But I expect Wenger to play his strongest and most exciting team to watch.

Predicted Line-up:

submit football lineup

Whatever team will play, I am sure they will give their all for all the reasons given above; and let’s hope we will beat the Spuddies playing football the Arsenal way. Ooh to be…


By TotalArsenal.

Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners! Predicted Line Up

Let’s make it Three out of Three NLD victories this season!

What it means in a nutshell:

A glorious Sunday morning carries the promise of a fine day of football. It is the NLD: a game outside of time and space – ninety plus minutes of pure here and now football. Yes, the despicable Chavs have just lost three very valuable points and had two players sent off (especially Ramires missing next week’s game is a real bonus); yes, Mansour City lost their best player for the next few games; and yes, Pool are likely to get beaten by the Mancs this afternoon. All interesting (potential) developments, but for us only one thing matters: do everything possible to win the game against the Spuddies today.

Let's make it three out of three today - Let's do it for Theo.
Let’s make it three out of three today – Let’s do it for Theo.

Much noise has been made about our injuries, but I reckon there is no such excuse for today’s game. Our back five will consist of: Szczesny, Mr Reliable, BFG, Kozzer and Nacho – maybe even Gibbs is fit again. At this stage of the season we are really lucky to have all our defenders available, and especially against the Spuds, who only scored on average a little bit more than one goal per home game this season (16 goals in 14 home games), this will be vital. The mean threat will be Adebarndoor but the BFG and Kozzer will be ready for him, whilst the former – our real captain – also likes to score against our North-London enemies and celebrate it in their faces.

Of course, it would be great to have the likes of Ozil, Rambo, Jack and Theo available for today’s derby game, but with Arteta, Santi, Ox and Rosicky available we have still good alternatives. It also looks like Kim Kallstrom might be available, and who knows, he might become an instant hero today… On top of that, Pod, Giroud and possibly Sanogogogo are available, and I really don’t see any reason to be worried about our ability to field a strong line-up today.

The Spuddies were outplayed by a very fit and impressive looking Benfica less than 72 hours ago. They played compact against them and never gave the ‘skinny chicken on a ball’ shirt wearers much time on the ball. That is exactly how we should play them: press them hard in midfield, keep it tight and give them no time to settle. I feel we need to take the initiative in this game rather than sit back and absorb their pressure initially, as this might give them time to settle into the game and play away some of their post-Benfica nerves and worries.

On the other hand, it might be better to sit back a bit and kill them off with counter attacking football/ quick switchovers, as Benfica – typical Portuguese football – were also able to do. I am not sure whether we have the right players available for this, though, and prefer us to take a 4-5-1 approach today.

So for me, the preferred line up is:

Arse v Spuds March 14

The five of Flamini (deepest), Ox, Arteta, Santi and Rosicky in midfield should allow us to dominate this crucial area and create plenty of opportunities. I am going with Sanogo upfront, as I felt Giroud looked knackered against Bayern throughout most of the game and things are clearly not right with him at the moment. He might be a bit of liability today, and I feel he might start on the bench.

The only doubt I have with this line-up is the lack of regular goal scorers. Ox has started to score and we know that Santi can be lethal, but Arteta, Rosicky and Sanogo cannot claim to have been prolific for the club. So maybe Pod will start instead of Sanogo or Rosicky, or he will be used as a super-sub – his best role in my opinion – later in the game.

I am really looking forward to this one: a great opportunity to make it three out of three against the Spuds this season and to create a nice, large gap between us and them, bringing the next St Totteringham’s celebration really close. 😉

So let’s focus on just this game, give our all and show them who the Kings of North London are.

Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners – Up The Arse! 🙂