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Step aside Ms Cheese; Phil’s got his computer going. Arsenal v Wigan.

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Victory Through Harmony

By Phil Gregory – our man with a computer

It wasn’t long ago that we last played Wigan, dropping two points in disappointing fashion. That day was even more disappointing if thanks to a delay on your Virgin trains you arrived sufficiently late to not even get in the ground, but them’s the breaks. Anyhow, it was a controversial day, with heavy rotation, likely required due to the insane fixture list, meaning we dropped two points that day. Today however, we play on our patch, with a little more rest too. Hopefully, it won’t end 2-2 eh?

Looking at the league table, it’s all getting very tight at the top and we’ve only got a goal difference worse than United’s by one, though a likely five point deficit in all truth. While the odds of the league coming down to goal difference is slim, it is certainly something that I’d like to be on our side. Given United have a game in hand, it is probably fair to assume once we’ve all played an equal number of games, they’ll be a few ahead of us, goal difference wise. However if we expect to make up the points on them over the remaining games, we’ll almost certainly get a better GD by doing so, which may just come in useful.

Overall for the league, we haven’t got many games against fellow contenders left, and what we do have is at home. We’ve got more home games than away games left to play, so we’re certainly in with a chance. Could United stumble if they lose their unbeaten record, with confidence sucked out of them? They don’t strike me as that sort of team so I wouldn’t bank on them doing a Chelsea. What is true however is they are fairly poor away. Personally, I think it may come down to us having to beat them at the Emirates, both for the league and ending their hopes of emulating the Invincibles. The real fairytale would be Blackpool ending it at Bloomfield Road however. Am I dreaming? United are dodgy away…

The injury situation only gives us a couple of issues.  Denilson is  a doubt, having not recovered as well as expected from his knock (Chamakh, who also suffered a minor knock is fine) while Diaby and Squillaci are expected to be out for around another week. Fabianksi is still out with a shoulder inflammation. With that sort of injury, it is simply a matter of waiting until the inflammation goes down, hence why it can be a bit of guesswork on how long it takes (I’m not making this up, I have a similar issue and spoke to an ex-Premier League physio about it, he explained the ins and outs while charging £45 to wave my arm around. Nice bloke however).

Taking that onboard, I’m going for the following:

Szcznesy

Sagna Djourou Koscielny Clichy

Song Wilshere

Cesc

Theo Van Persie Nasri

After a tireless performance in midweek, I expected Bendtner to get some decent gametime off the bench too. When you look at our bench, you realise it’s getting competitive to even get sub appearances now: there are some big players that are routinely left with their Arsenal bobhats on for ninety minutes.

Anyhow, Szcznesy is the last man standing in regards to keepers and we have a first choice back four out too (well, of those who are fit). There may be a little bit of rotation, but with Clichy rested, it is only feasibly going to be Sagna, who has just had a three game breather, so it doesn’t seem needed to be honest.

Wilshere will surely also come back into the side next to Song, who certainly is a man who deserves a rest. Fabregas returns to the midfield, while Theo goes back to his traditional wide-right berth. Nasri takes the opposite flank, while Van Persie comes back into the centre.

For me, that is certainly a line-up strong enough to win the game comfortably. A good solid win against Wigan would be fantastic, and with that team I can certainly see it happening. I’m going to go for a 3-0 to the Arsenal , a fairly straightforward match with a strong side out. Clean sheets never go amiss either, though the defence is certainly looking better for a bit of familiarity at centreback.

I unfortunately won’t be keeping up with the game as live, as I’m making my refereeing debut tomorrow. I didn’t anticipate doing it in a foreign language, reffing a game in which I had friends playing and classmates in the crowd but they pay me my euros, so I don’t complain. Hopefully Walter will catch a stream of it and score me higher than Mike Dean…!

Snooping around Wigan.   (This might be a health hazard)

Bogus Cheese considers the fromage du Perruque d’Ann

Making the Arsenal

The new George Allison season on the Arsenal History site.

9 comments to Step aside Ms Cheese; Phil’s got his computer going. Arsenal v Wigan.

  • RedGooner

    Walter has high standards Phil better do a good job 🙂
    Agree on the result not sure how we will line up other than it will be a strong squad and we should be able to cope with wigan a lot better at home than away.
    The last time Wigan won away was at wolves and that was only by one goal not overly convincing away form.

  • Caribkid

    Our home record this season has just been short of dismal, and so, what we need to do is to make the Emirates a fortress for the rest of the season. If we do while maintaining a consistent away record the title is within our reach if both Manchester teams stumble.

    Who would a thunk it, both Manchester teams 1-2 in the title chase. At this point in time I am summoning my Vodoo gods to rectify this totally inappropriate imbalance 🙂

  • RedGooner

    Carib I dont think City have what it takes to sustain a title challenge. I think they have a good chance of qualifying for Europe along with Spurs but our main challengers are still Utd and to a slighlty lesser extent Chelsea.
    Chelsea 5 points behind us isnt a lot but the problem for them is they are at least that behind three teams and not all three will let them back into first place.
    Utd really have been crap all season and if we can field a full strength side against them unlike at old traford we will beat them.
    Some say Utd have yet to really hit form but I think we have seen them at their best that this season and they will hit a poor patch yet just like ourselves and chelsea have done.

  • Dark Prince

    It will be very crucial for Arsenal to take a lead as early as possible. The games against West Ham, Birmingham and Leeds showed us that an early goal is vital for a big victory. Also it wud be expected for Wigan to park the bus, so we’ll have to plan for such tactics.

  • ugandan goon

    not that i am being pesimistic or anything but i am going to err on the side of caution and say wigan are more likely to score to than not!
    i know there is no statistical trend to back this and i run the risk of being moderated off but just bear with me.
    hugo rodollega, charles nzogbia and victor moses are likely to start up front tomorrow and i would wager that martinez will try and keep atleast two of these players upfront a’la leeds.
    ideas are memetic and i am sure he will try this particular tack as it seems efficient and lets be honest what has he got to lose?

  • Indian Gunner

    United have to play 10 more away matches and they have to play chelsea twice and liverpool away at anfield…no matter how awful Liverpool are at the moment,i see them doing well against united…So its up to us to maintain the consistency and dispatch all the teams at emirates…we have three tricky away ties against newcastle,bolton and stoke…If can some how manage to get 5 or 6 points from these three,then we would be in with a real chance…

  • Ugandan goon – no one gets moderated off here unless they stray way off topic (which you clearly haven’t), indulge in mindless personal abuse against an individual without any form of logic to back it up (which you don’t), or gives a false email address when filling in the form.

    The only reason we don’t have much argument here against the club and its players is that those people who come here he contrary views tend not to be able to conform to those simple rules.

  • Frank

    Ugandan Goon – Victor Moses is not playing

  • Jerom J.

    I do agree with Dark Prince, I noticed that we play much better with an early goal probably because of the opposing team having to chase the game and make more space. I feel that most teams would park the bus and hope for a counter attack if we do otherwise.. Not to say that don’t do it from the start, just that after about 20-30 minutes they’d actually believe they can stop Arsenal from scoring.