Today’s game against Derby sees Aleksandr Hleb join Tomas Rosicky, Emmanuel Eboue, Jens Lehmann, and William Gallas on the injury list. Arsene has proclaimed he will rotate, though it’s hard to see how he has any other option.
“I will rotate a little bit and try to get the right mixture between stability and some fresh legs as well. Gilberto will be back, maybe Theo Walcott will start, I do not know yet. Eduardo down the left can be a possibility as well.”
With Philippe Senderos fit, I’d imagine Gilberto will step into midfield, perhaps pushing Mathieu Flamini out to the right-hand side. Diaby could fill the left-sided berth, though it’s possible that’s where Arsene envisages employing Eduardo or Walcott.
Arsene knows that it’s vital the team keep their concentration today:
“It is important to take the points at home against teams like Derby, who fight to play in the Premier League, if you want to be successful. It is a big game because last season we dropped points against these teams. This year we want to take points against them and we have achieved that up to now. We want to keep our home strength and it is a big weekend because it is one where we can stay in the position we are in.”
It’s true that knowing that a victory will keep us top of the table is a hell of an incentive. Maybe it’s just because it’s a while since we were up there, but just looking at the table gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Three points today and it’ll stay that way for a little while longer.
I can’t go without mentioning the fallout from the Alisher Usmanov/blog war. Although I’ve currently escaped attention (by a combination of flying under the radar and not directly quoting Craig Murray), I really do think it’s appalling the way his legal representatives have been so heavy-handed in dealing with this matter. Fortunately for us, it’s brought the matter to the attention of the national press and left Usmanov’s reputation even worse off.
Eduardo’s first Premier League goal today? I’ve just got a feeling.