Archive for September 28th, 2010

Partizan Belgrade Preview: Jack’s back

4 comments September 28th, 2010

Hello all.  Arsenal face Partizan Belgrade tonight, in a game which ought to have been fairly a relaxed encounter ahead of Sunday’s critical match at Stamford Bridge.  On a European away trip, a draw is usually viewed as a decent result.  After our slip against West Brom, both the manager and the fans will be demanding a win from the team to restore morale and belief.

There is a bit of intrigue around what XI Arsene will pick.  He has suggested that some players may require a breather, whereas there’s always the possibility that some will be dropped as punishment for their sloppiness on Saturday.

In goal, we know already that Lukasz Fabianski will start in place of the injured Manuel Almunia.  Although Wojciech Szczesny has been named in the squad ahead of Italian Vito Mannone, Arsene has confirmed that it is Fabianski who will get the nod.  Needless to say, it’s vital he puts in an improved performance.  We’re not asking much of him: merely 90 minutes without a catastrophic error.  He hasn’t managed that in a while, so tonight could get hairy.

With Thomas Vermaelen still out I’d expect Squillaci and Koscielny to continue at centre-back, though it wouldn’t amaze me to see Johan Djourou come in for the latter.  Koscielny played 320 minutes of football last week, and Arsene might wish to give him a breather before he faces up to the torrid task of facing Didier Drogba.

At full-back, Kieran Gibbs is fit and there is a school of thought that says he should supplant the out-of-sorts Clichy.  Personally, I don’t think the time is right for a change.  I wouldn’t want to field Gibbs’s inexperience against Nicolas Anelka on Sunday, so I think we have to stick by the number 22, for now.  Bacary Sagna’s position at right-back, meanwhile, remains safe despite his uncharacteristic errors at the weekend.

In midfield, Abou Diaby has been left at home without explanation.  Some have suggested it’s a disciplinary response to his appalling display against WBA, but given his propensity to pick up injuries it’s not hard to imagine he’s back in the treatment room.  In his absence, Alex Song will likely continue in the holding role, with Jack Wilshere available to come in alongside him.

I wonder if, however, Wilshere might be moved to a more advanced role.  Andrey Arshavin has started more games than any other outfield player, and I suspect Arsene may take the opportunity to give him a breather from the bench, rather than force the Russian to take one when we’re supposed to be defending.

That would mean the trio of Nasri, Rosicky and Wilshere playing behind Marouane Chamakh or Carlos Vela.  I think Chamakh will keep his place, with the manager looking to bring him off if we can establish a two-goal lead.

I can’t pretend to know too much about Partizan, but this helpful Guardian piece gives an indicator as to the kind of team we’ll be facing.  Their rough-and-tumble centre-back and skipper, Mladen Krstajic, was a target for Arsene Wenger many moons ago.

Finally today, the Swiss Rambler picks apart our financial results with more analytical excellence that I could ever muster.  Enjoy.

Oh, and Come On You Gunners.

Search Gunnerblog

Get your Gunnerblog t-shirts now!

get regular updates from GS with twitter

Top Gunn

Cesc Fabregas
The man in form.

    Retro Arsenal T-Shirts from - Bringing Back The Good Old Days!: Click Here!

Latest Posts

Sponsored Links


September 2010
« Aug   Oct »

Posts by Month

Most Recent Posts

Posts by Category


Powered By

eXTReMe Tracker