A little over a month ago I sat in a bar full of Chelsea and Tottenham fans watching Arsenal struggle to a draw at home to Birmingham City. The fixture list is a complex construction and tomorrow gives us a quick opportunity to set the record straight against the Brummies.
A lunchtime kick-off gives us the chance to stretch our lead at the top of the Premier League to eight points, if only temporarily, but victory cannot be taken for granted against a side who have reserved their best performances for the bigger opponents this season.
For us the interest in the Birmingham side would be ex-Gunners Fabrice Muamba and Seb Larsson. We will also need to be wary of a potential trio of attackers on the break. McFaddden, Forssell, and Kapo have the ability to offer more than nuisance value.
Arsene Wenger has at least one very difficult decision to make. Assuming Manuel Almunia is fully recovered will he replace Jens Lehmann in goal? You would have to feel sorry for whoever is left out, but I have a feeling the Spaniard will return given that he only lost his place as a result of the finger injury.
The rest of the side pretty much picks itself, with Philippe Senderos and Theo Walcott likely to come in for the injured Kolo Toure and the suspended Emmanuel Eboue. Hopefully Eduardo will be pushed forward in a fluid 4-4-2 formation.
The ‘holic pound is delicately poised. Birmingham have already taken points off the Gunners and Liverpool, and only been pipped by the odd goal in all meetings with United and Chelsea this season, but I have a feeling we are going to Birmingham to get the job done, and well. I’m having a go at 3-0 to the visitors, currently offered at around 9 or 10/1. The price looks a little skinny, but if it’s a winner I’ll be happy enough.
Win An Arsenal Opus With O2
Tonight the feature image from the final of the competition to win an Arsenal Opus is from Grant, and depicts the entrance of Denis Bergkamp and his family at the Dutch maestro’s testimonial at the start of last season.
For your chance to win this magnificent prize you need to visit the O2 blueroom here, and vote for your favourite from the final eleven fan images.
That leaves just four more snaps for me to feature next week. If yours is amongst them and you would like to say a few words in support of your entry please drop me a line at gooner@(remove this)goonerholic.com.
Have a great weekend everybody. Let’s hope that this time tomorrow we are just one win away from St Totteringhams Day!
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