The visit of Derby County provides the perfect opportunity, you would think, for Arsenal to consolidate their position at the head of affairs in the Premier League. I think we can be reasonably sure from their attitude to date that this group will not take any opponents too lightly.
What is less certain is just who will be taking the field for Arsenal. Jens Lehmann, Emmanuel Eboue, and William Gallas remain sidelined and the defence could be further weakened as Philippe Senderos is ‘a doubt’ with a hip problem.
The wide midfielders could also be absent. Tomas Rosicky will definitely miss the next couple of weeks with a hamstring strain, whilst Alexander Hleb is a ‘major doubt’ with an injured knee.
I would not be surprised if Gilberto returns to the heart of the defence. Given how few fit defenders we have it may not make sense to risk Senderos further in a game where he should not be required.
I suspect ‘Le Boss’ will wait until the last before ruling out Hleb, but Theo Walcott could get a chance to show just how much progress he has made of late. The selection on the left side is more complicated. Abou Diaby has been used there recently, but a left winger he is not. Surely his future will be alongside Cesc Fabregas in the centre where he looks a class act.
Personally I would like to see Eduardo da Silva given a game out there. That would give him some playing time without upsetting the developing partnership of Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin Van Persie in attack. It would also give us another natural finisher on the pitch.
The ‘holic pound this week will be firmly on a home win. Unlike the team I am in danger of becoming over confident, but the likes of Bacary Sagna, Mathieu Flamini, Cesc Fabregas, and Gael Clichy are on fire. We have form players right across the pitch. I can see Derby frustrating us for long spells but this Arsenal side will keep going for ninety minutes. I’ll go for 2-0.
By the way, it’s great to see a few more of you commenting, and obviously one of the big issues at the moment is the potential takeover. I think my feelings about comrade Usmanov, and the man who has ‘introduced’ him to us, are pretty well known. I would ask that you consider carefully what you type about him. I’m not so concerned about his lawyers coming after me for money I don’t have, but have a duty to those who share my server. For those who don’t know the lawyers are now taking down servers and silencing innocent bloggers in the process. See here for a little more detail (with thanks to Arseblog).
That’s it for now. Have a great weekend all of you. Up the Arse!
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