Archive for September 29th, 2012

Chelsea Preview: Time to reunite Vermaelen & Koscielny?

110 comments September 29th, 2012

Yesterday afternoon I posited the theory on twitter that Arsene Wenger might reunite Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny at the heart of the defence today.

It tells you a lot about how much Per Mertesacker’s stock has risen that I was met with loud cries of dissent from my followers – Mertesacker was outstanding at Man City and to drop him after that would seem, on paper, to be harsh.

However, Arsene has spent the week insisting he will select the centre-backs best suited to the opposition.  Mertesacker was chosen against City in part to combat the height of Edin Dzeko; against Chelsea’s nimble forward line of Torres, Mata, Hazard and Oscar, Koscielny and Vermaelen’s fleet of foot might be the sensible choice.  The informed whispers last night suggested that Tommy and Kos have indeed got the nod; Per will most likely come back in for the Champions League game in midweek.

The full-backs, goalkeeper, and holding midfield are certain to remain the same.  The other big conundrum facing Arsene Wenger is who to plump for at centre-forward.  Despite Gervinho’s erratic display in Manchester, my gut tells me that Arsene prefers the mobile attacking style he lends to the team.

The other choice is whether he feels we need to persist with Aaron Ramsey at right-wing.  Whilst Ramsey was excellent against City, I think Ashley Cole might be more tested by a flier like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

It’s rare to be going in to such a big game so confident in Arsenal.  We really have a great chance to go and beat Chelsea today.  I hope for all the world these players do it; it would give them a tremendous boost and cap an excellent start to the season.  Whatever happens, it’s vital we maintain our unbeaten record: lose, and we’d suddenly find ourselves seven points behind.

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