By Walter Broeckx
With the whole Untold team still out on hollidays, finding the way back home from the AGM, from Watford if anyone went, I still am the only one left in the building to do a match preview.
A match preview about a match that can be seen as a must win or at least draw this match to make a chance of staying in the European competitions. Not saying CL but European competitions. And that against one of the best teams in Europe over the last seasons: Bayern Munich.
A team that could be considered as one of the best organised and ran clubs in Europe. The strongest team in the Bundesliga without any doubt for …well as long as I can remember. A team that plays like a real machine in a way. They can hit you at any time during a match and even when you don’t expect them to hit you. With a few players who are in top form like Lewandowski, Muller and well… a few others that play some impressive stuff. Lewandowski who is seemingly scoring with his eyes shut for the moment and who is in the form of his life.
So reading this back one would say: Arsenal has no chance at all. That’s it then. Let’s focus on Everton.
But then…this is The Arsenal. A team that some old fans can confirm is a team that loses matches that we expect them to win without any problem. Matches like against… wel Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos. That is what have done in our entire history. Lose the matches we supposed to win.
But there is another Arsenal. An Arsenal that wins the matches that we cannot win. Matches like in Milan where we had no chance but won with 1-5. Matches against Real Madrid that we couldn’t win but we won there and progressed in the CL. Matches against Barcelona. Where we beat the unbeatable Barcelona at home 2-1 (anyone still remember that Arshavin goal and his silly celebration showing his own face on the shirt he showed with his fingers in the shus gesture?). We then were robbed in the return leg by many unexplicable referee decesions by Bussaca, the man wo is leading the referees in the Uefa headquarters. The Riley from Europe one could say.
And then there is the Arsenal that went to Bayern Munich being give absolutely no chance of going further after a home loss in the first leg of 1-3. We won at their ground with 0-2 and only went out on the away goals rule. And in that match we lost 0-2 at home we missed a penalty and had the far better chances before Bayern suddenly hit back from out of nowhere and scored the goal we had missed. But at that moment we were playing with 10 men as Szczesny had been sent off for a foul on Robben. It seems that we don’t really have much luck when playing in Europe the last years.
The most important question is : who shall we play? Or who will Wenger play?
I can imagine Wenger having a bit of a headache about his team. Not because of injuries but because of deciding what to do.
But knowing Wenger I think he will just go for it. And that this will be our starting team
Bellerin – Per – Kos – Monreal
Le Coq – Santi
Ramsey – Theo – Alexis
On the beach: Ospina – Debuchy – Gibbs – Gabriel – Arteta – The Ox – Giroud
For those wo pay attention this is the same team that started against Watford. I had picked Gabriel for that match but didn’t know he was sick so Kos started and did a great job.
One could have picked Gabriel and Kos for this match and put Per on the bench. But I think Wenger will keep the experience from Per in the team as he rates him high not just as a defender but also as one of the leaders in the team. So do I by the way.
I expect Arsenal to go out on full attack mode like we did against Manchester United. It would be a dream if we would be as sharp in front of goal as on that day of course. And that would be vital in this match. In the other CL matches we had enough chances to be in front but we didn’t take them. And in a competition like the CL you can be punished for not taking your chances.
For those who cannot wait for the match report to come online I have to warn you that I will not be at home for this match. We are meeting up with the Arsenal Belgium supporters club in Kelly’s Irish Pub in Antwerp (if you happen to be in Belgium feel free to come) and so I will not be able to write my match report during the match. So it will take a bit longer this time before the match report will come online or it might even take till the next day.