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Wigan host the Arsenal – the preview

Arsenal are looking to bounce back from a disappointing home draw versus Fulham in Saturday’s Premier League game against Wigan. There was controversy last season when we trekked up to Wigan, partly refereeing and partly fixture related. If my memory serves, that game was our second in 48 hours, so in order to avoid injuries Wenger rotated virtually the entire team and they came close to grabbing the three points.

According to a reporter in the press conference, apparently Wenger has never taken three points from Roberto Martinez at the DW stadium. Apart from the usually poor pitch, I can’t imagine Wigan benefit much from home advantage, given their overall attendance is relatively low and their fans are fairly quiet (unlike our away lot!) so this is likely just a statistical quirk. I don’t think such things will bother Wenger much in the build up to this game: Wigan are second bottom in the league to date, and with good reason. They’ve lost some good players in recent seasons and have never really seemed to replace them. That’s not entirely Wigan and Martinez’s fault with the club strapped for cash, but it bodes well for Arsène ending that apparent DW hoodoo.

In terms of injury news, we’re doing okay at the moment. Apart from Jack with his long term ankle problem, Diaby has had one of those niggly injuries that happen after a lengthy layoff while Rosicky is also out of this weekend’s game. The Carling Cup squad came out unscathed, though our dear old Samir Nasri nearly didn’t. Fortunately for the Frenchman that his dispute with Frimpong didn’t go much further than words – I know who my money would’ve been on in any brawl.

Szcznesy

Koscielny Mertesacker Vermaelen Santos

Song Arteta

Ramsey

Walcott Van Persie Gervinho

 

I doubt there’ll be any real surprises in the team that Wenger sends out. Coming after a Carling Cup game, he’ll have a fresh squad to pick from as virtually all of the midweek squad were substitutes and fringe players. The only exception was Koscielny. The Frenchman has played a lot of games already this season, and having been involved in the game against City, Wenger might elect to play Djourou given the latter’s lesser pitch time this season. That said, Koscielny will be likely to get a breather in midweek in the Champions League, so I suspect he may be used in this game.

Apart from that there shouldn’t be any real controversy in the line up I’m expecting. Gervinho started the Fulham game on the bench with Arshavin given the nod ahead of him, but I can’t imagine the Russian’s performance will do anything to keep the Ivorian out of the frame.

There shouldn’t really be anything to trouble us in this game. Even with dropped points in the last game, we’ve rested the first eleven and are performing well at the moment. The team look confident, the defence are solid and apart from spreading the goals around the team a little there’s not much to criticise at the moment.

Given that and a positive RefWatch outlook with Clattenburg (check the article yourself for Dogface’s write-up), this game should be a fairly comfortable 3-0 win for the Arsenal. However I’m slightly more tentative and would be quite happy with a comfortable 2-0 win.

Enjoy the game!

10 comments to Wigan host the Arsenal – the preview

  • Gooner Gal

    Nasri definately got Frimpong’d and by the crowd too from what I heard. I think that the CC squad could beat the Wigan team, so I think it will be interesting tomorrow. I think the above is a good line up, but I wonder if Ramsey will start? He would be in my starting line up too if he is alright. I would bring on Chamakh, Le Coq and Arsharvin as subs. Two of the players need confidence boosts and if you are going to play AA you need more defensive players on the pitch to compensate. The last time I watched Wigan, I didn’t see too much flair in the team and the players looked quite bulky. So I hope their clumsy challenges are addressed early on by the ref.

    I reckon the players have to keep peppering the Wigan goal with shots because the GK Al Habsi, has looked to be one of best in the league thus far in the 2011 season. One has to go in or we may force an error from one of the defenders. I am guessing it will be Arsenal Vs Al Habsi tomorrow.

  • marcus

    Marcus you have sent in a couple of posts that are just links.

    Sorry that isn’t on – if you have a point to make, make it, and then include the link so we know what you are talking about.

    Tony

  • Put it this way anything but a win really puts a dought about us
    achieving fourth place which has now become the focus for our whole season, can we win yes, should we win yes, will we. Tune in tomorrow at 5-00pm. Who knows

  • T Ross

    Please do a ref review of the Chelsea game, already massive and hilariously bad decisions by Dean.

  • The team this afternoon as predicted…

    Arsenal

    Wojciech Szczesny

    Laurent Koscielny

    Per Mertesacker

    Thomas Vermaelen

    Andre Santos

    Alex Song

    Mikel Arteta

    Aaron Ramsey

    Gervinho

    Theo Walcott

    Robin van Persie

    Substitutes

    Lukasz Fabianski

    Johan Djourou

    Francis Coquelin

    Yossi Benayoun

    Andrey Arshavin

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

  • walter

    Apart from the first 10 minutes where Wigan really had a go at us there was only going to be one winner after that.
    Another fine and hard working performance from the whole team.
    And another clean sheet…. and another RVP goal but even now the hardest “one man team” person will have to admit that there are 10 other not that bad players in our team.

    Great win!!!!
    🙂 🙂

  • Gooner Gal

    So it seems some of my Christmas pressie’s have come early.

    RVP to score from a free kick – tick

    Arsenal to score from a corner – tick

    Arsenal players to score from long range – tick

    Arsenal to comprehensively thrash ‘relegation’ teams and keep a clean sheet – tick

    The red army marches onwards!

    Arteta’s goal was a thing of beauty and you can just feel the unity of this squad growing with each passing game.

    Well done to the away fans too.

  • Gooner Gal

    @ Tony, I guessed two of the three subs as well as the starting line up….

  • bjtgooner

    Excelent win. Four different goalscorers should confuse the AAA – have we progressed from a one man team to a four man team?

    Overall a good team performance and a nice bounce back after the draw against Fulham.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And the first review (not the ref review) is published..