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Arsenal v Chelsea. Untold makes a bold prediction. (What a surprise)

Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

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By Phil Gregory

After the last game was cancelled against Stoke, the snow has thawed sufficiently for our home game against Chelsea to be given the go ahead.  (It’s deep snow where I am Phil, and I’m struggling to get the car dug out of the ice. – Tony) After losses away at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge, it falls to our home games to improve our “big game” record. The away game against Chelsea this season was very much a case of what could’ve been given how we started the match, and the players need to take their chances efficiently in this game.

Almunia, Vermaelen and Gibbs are all still out, while recent absentees Diaby and Fabianski are back in the fold. Chelsea are without squad men in Zhirkov and Benayoun, though Bosingwa has been passed fit, and Lampard is expected to start after an injury-hit opening part of the season.

Fabianski

Sagna Squillaci Koscielny Clichy

Song Wilshere

Fabregas

Nasri Van Persie Arshavin

There’s a couple of talking points in amongst the starting line-up. With Fabianski back fit, I expect Szcznesy to make way for the more experienced Pole. While Wojieich has come in and performed well, I can’t see Wenger leaving Fabianski on the bench given the changes we’ve already seen this season in the goalkeeping pecking order.

The back four is largely unchanged, with the continuing absence of Vermaelen a cause for concern. Song and Wilshere will play the deep midfield roles, while Cesc will be looking to kickstart an injury-hit season from his advanced playmaking position. Just in front of him will be Robin Van Persie, who I’ve expected to come in for Chamakh. With Robin back fit, and with a few weeks training now behind him, it seems likely Wenger will unleash the Dutch international and take some of the burden off Chamakh, who has shouldered it admirably thus far. Nasri and Arshavin flank the attack, two players capable of worrying any defence.

Cech

Bosingwa Ivanovic Terry Cole

Mikel

Essien Lampard

Kalou Drogba Anelka

Chelsea are a team with little in the way of options, given the now well known issues over their squad depth, so their team line-up won’t be too tricky to predict. I’m expecting that with Bosingwa back, they’ll try and get Ferreira out of the starting line-up as quickly as humanly possible, and with Lampard back in for Ramires in central midfield.

Chelsea fans will surely have a few concerns. Despite Didier Drogba’s sadly exceptional goalscoring form against us, he’s been struggling for goals since his bout of malaria earlier in the winter. He came off the bench against Tottenham and got a goal but then contrived to miss a penalty that would’ve won Chelsea the game. To my eyes, that makes it very much a case of “as you were” when it comes to the Ivorian’s confidence in front of goal. Anelka is another man short of end product, nearing ten hours since he last found the net.

Shorn of confidence for six or seven games, this run of Chelsea’s cannot be put down to simply being a blip. They have missed some players with injury, but much of the impact of their injuries is simply, down to the lack of the strength of their replacements. Losing a centreback isn’t too much of a big deal if your 3rd choice is capable of slotting in and performing as ours largely have. However injuries do not tell the whole story. Many of Chelsea’s absentees have been present on the pitch, but simply not firing. Their midfield in particular has looked flat and unimaginative without Lampard and with Ramires struggling.

Confidence is a huge factor in football, and as Cesc said after the game against United, it sometimes seems we go into these matches with a self-imposed psychological disadvantage. Such reasoning is often dismissed as simply excuses for having an inferior side, but anyone who has played the game at any level will know just how important mindset is going into a game.

With Lampard short of match practice, we have to be capable of controlling the midfield. It’ll be a congested 3 v 3 battle in the middle of the park, though I feel with higher technical quality we have the ability to take advantage of such a situation. Cesc certainly has the ability to get one over Mikel if he plays as we know he can

The worry for most Arsenal fans surrounds the defence, especially coming up against regular tormentor Drogba. However both the Ivorian and Anelka are struggling for confidence and goals, which leads me to think we can keep a clean sheet against Chelsea. I’m going to go for 2-0 to the Arsenal, with an end to our “big games” hoodoo and a late Christmas present from the players to the fans.

Untold Indexes largely incomprehensible, but interesting none the less

Arsenal history takes the official version, tears it up and starts again.  Current article is about how John Dick played 250 games for Woolwich Arsenal and then went on to help Sparta Prague in the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Making the Arsenal is, well, just so different from everything else in the history of history that really words fail most people who have ever read it.

31 comments to Arsenal v Chelsea. Untold makes a bold prediction. (What a surprise)

  • Henry XIV

    If we are to keep a clean sheet, then the game will probably end goalless. How long has it been since we last SCORED against them?
    Well, don’t get me wrong: I certainly hope it’ll end tonight, but the post seems to ignore our toothlessness against them .

  • Dave Highbury

    Would love to hear the stats on Diaby in big games. To me, he’s key in big matches… especially when the team is good enough to play us in our half. Being able to snatch turn and run (regardless of the final pass) is an invaluable asset. It gives us free kicks for Chamack in their third.

  • nicky

    I would have liked to see Diaby in the suggested line-up. This is just the sort of game where he would prosper.

  • Cujo

    Great preview. Just a bit pissed there isnt an option to share this on twitter or facebook like other sites have. Now i’ll have to do it the long way. Meh. 5-0 to the Arsenal is my prediction. HALLELUJAH PRAISE THE LORD! Lord Wenger that is 🙂

  • Dave

    seriously i would love to see diaby in along side song and cesc but i dont think he’s fit enough. Also for me Djourou has to start over squillaci! HE HAS BEEN SHOCKING! the last 5 games he has played he has been caught out so many times. he can’t clear the ball to save his life, he is a poor communicator (something exp is supposed to bring) and slow, Kozzer saved his ass so many times against manure…but you know wenger he has his faves and it looks like the squid is now one of them

  • JohnW

    Well, whether we win or lose, i will still be a gooner. Besides, it won’t be the end of the world should we lose, ManU won yesterday, but for me it was down to a really poor Sunderland team, all the things they did against us were suspiciously missing! Was it down to the fact that a certain Steve Bruce was going back to the team where he was captain? Well, I don’t know, just suggesting in a childish way, i think.

  • Eleanor

    Alex is out. Terry’s a dick. Essien’s not recovered. Neither has Lampard. And Drogba is about to enter a statistical drought.

    Predictions are for idiots.

    So, here’s mine.

    This one we win!

  • nikkogunners

    Your line up is the probable Wenger line up. But if he was more imaginative i would go with

    ———Fabianski

    Sagna Squillaci Djourou Clichy

    ——-Song Fabregas

    ———-Walcott

    Nasri Van Persie Arshavin

    I think Walcott deserve a start and with a free role behind RvP. Djourou is more combative but more composed and less risky than Kosciely and in such a big game he can be a major blocker of opposition run. Fabregas in the deeper role so he can help master counters with his very well calculated passes. On a good day he is a master of conversion of opposition attack to counters. Chelsea will not be ready for Walcott in the central role and Nasri will get room to cause problems. Arshavin on his good day will also wreck havoc.

  • gooner80

    is maluda injured? his dip in form has caused a lot of their problems. if I am being optimistic alot of people dont expect us to win and this team is at its best when they are given no hope.

    we cant use injuries or players being exhausted as an excuse.

    I rate AW he is the man but I hope he doesnt come out with some poor excuses if we lose. one definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result, these players have played in enough big games two of them in world cup finals, for me there is no excuse, class is over.

    clichy you owe us a big performance

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Optimistic as usual. 1-0 or 1-1 if we are unlucky. We should do well over the break as we have much depth and quality, too and good luck, and we are the Arsenal!!! 🙂

  • Phil

    Malouda’s not injured, and could be included on the left instead of Anelka. Depends on how Ancelotti wants to play really, he might favour Malouda playing wide but a little deeper, to offer another option coming inside

  • Dark Prince

    If we win today, it will be probably our sweetest home victory in last 4 yrs…if we lose, well,…..back to square one i guess.

    But i hope we dont use 2 defensive midfielders in the starting line up…. This is a chelsea team with low confidence, lets go for attack, attack, attack!!!! Put arshavin, van persie and walcot up front,….cesc, song and nasri behind them. Also i’d prefer Szczesny to play bcoz he’s much more better in crosses.

    Lets go for it gunners!!!! I’m predicting a 4-1 win for Arsenal!!!!!!

  • gooner80

    sagna needs to be aware of that judas cos he hurt us last time have to track cole back whoever plays right midfield cos their left is where all their goals come from

    dark prince you are really optimistic today we are due to smash someone sooner or later

    arsenal have been really bad at home, I cant call it it is getting to the stage where we need to be winning these games or our league chances are done for this year

  • critic

    2-0 prediction wud hav been bold if it was done on le twat, on untold it’s a “predictive” prediction.

  • Wrenny

    The teams are in and Wenger’s made some bold changes! Walcott is in for Arshavin, and Squillaci makes way for Djourou.

    I predict an Arsenal win, but then again I always do 😉

  • super sam super sam

    diaby could have been critical for the big matches, at the moment i see him as bigger and stronger than wilshere. BUT, who knows what his fitness levels are at, that’s the concern

  • super sam super sam

    unless walcott can play out of his boots, he doesn’t fill me with confidence on his wing

  • Evil

    What was that, Sam?

  • La Shiz

    Woohoo!!

  • Matoo

    Stand up and be counted! 3-1 is a great result, and you got the goal difference right Tony!

  • Tone

    What joy! Finally one of the big guns put to the sword!

  • Fem Dee

    Dear Walcott,
    Please accept these bunch of flowers, courtesy of Super Sam. He didn’t think you could do it but you did play out of your boots tonight! Laying it up for Fab4 for the 2nd! Stealing it from Chelsea and then receiving it back to bury it for the third!!
    The defense held very well. The ref did his best to turn it against us but it was not to be!! It was just to be the night the hoodoo ended and, ended it did.
    The entire team played very well but I give my man of the match handshake to Jack Wilshire…

  • WalterBroeckx

    This was a great performance from the whole team. Just what the doctor ordered. It will be a joy to have another look at the game for my ref review. I had some remarks, but this will not surprise you I think. 😉

  • GabyGooner

    Oh well, Allelujah for your bold prediction. It will be dishonest to claim I agreed with your predictionbefore the game but I actually did!!!
    In my humble opinion I could see that the defense was quite disciplined at the last game at Old Trafford and new if we could do the same against Chelsea and win the battle in the middle field the game would be ours, and Arsenal did exactly that…Credit to the PROFESOR!
    Just hope this will give us enough confidence for the rest of the season and I know as long as the fear factor plays in our favour then the title will be ours.
    Long live Arsenal and to all of you gooners who have been suffering since the last time we won a trophy…We’re getting there, just believe!!! Happy new year to all of you!!!

  • C4

    Brilliant!
    chelski disciplined.
    Big 4 pride restored.
    AAA silenced.
    OK, maybe I’m dreaming with the AAA bit…
    But just HAD 2 pour me a celebratory glass of JD after this match, and damn, it tasted sweet… 😀
    Theo for President! I love the way he terrorized cashley…
    Defensively we were good, minus Kos’s concentration lapse for the chelski goal.
    Any1 else think JD (and this time I mean our defender) should start whenever possible? I found him to be super solid defesively. I think Kos should be 3rd choice after Tommy V and JD. Squidward should be 4th, not say he sux, but the other guys are younger and will be there longer, so should play more.
    Words can’t describe my joy…

  • Dark Prince

    Lol!! I almost got my prediction right there….even my team line up was very close!! That was an inspiring move to use all our best players!! Finally our boys are turning into men!! Now lets rock the league!!

  • RedGooner

    Just shows when we dont have half the team out against the top sides we are just as good as any of them. Lets hope we have no injuries for Manure and City and Barca when the time comes.

    Great result totaly deserved chelsea looked no better infact possibly worse than when we played them with weakened first choice teams.

  • ArsenalDuabi

    What a wonderful feeling to wake up to today. Great game. Even DP is positive! I’m loving it!

  • goonergerry

    Congratulations you guys on this site for keeping the faith. I did not see this coming. Arsenal have proved something with this win- they can organise a defence and play with collective intelligence. It wasn’t a perfect win but it was a very good one. I thought Arsene picked the right team-Arshavin needs a rest and so does Chamakh- if only for a week. Arsenal’s ball retention in midfield impressed me. Shows what a fit first eleven can do.
    The mentality of the team was good- and don’t underestimate how good the opposition was- as good as Man U whatever the media say.
    Will be interested in Walter’s analysis- because I thought Clattenburg favoured the Chavs- as usual- apart that is for our first goal.

  • trax

    what joy. brilliant.

    wenger was right when he gave theo the no 14.

    agreed with c4. Verm, Djourou, Kos n Squillac should be tho order.

    n DP u should try doing some pred in the future 😀

  • singapore-gooner

    arsenal did not play the great football that they can and YET they whooped the Chavs. Theo sure stuffed cashley’s mouth; the steal certainly put doubt on the “best leftback in the world” claim by the commentator over here in Singapore. i will be amongst the gooners at The Emirates before this season is over! ameeeeen …