Coming off clinching a landmark 100th win at the Emirates Stadium with victory in midweek over Udinese, Arsenal will be seeking a first win in the still nascent Premier League season when Liverpool come visiting in Saturday’s early kick-off.
The Gunners will be without African duo Gervinho and Alex Song with both handed three-match suspensions each for their part in the fraca with Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton last weekend just as Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere will sit out the encounter injured.
Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky has also been ruled out injured for the match as is Swiss defender Johan Djourou while Frenchman Samir Nasri will be in the squad despite edging closer to completing a move to Manchester City.
Also back in the squad and with an assured future at the club is Robin van Persie, expected to spearhead the attack in what would be his first outing as captain after being handed the armband following Cesc Fàbregas’ exit to Barcelona.
That also likely puts Marouane Chamakh back on d bench with Theo Walcott set to start alongside van Persie upfront or from the wings in light off Gervinho’s suspension. Young Ghanaian Emmanuel Frimpong could also be handed a starting shirt with Alex Song suspended while Ryo Miyaichi and Carl Jenkinson could make their league debuts.
Liverpool on their part have a full strength squad with captain Steven Gerard being the only notable absentee through injury. And Gooners should be wary of the Reds attack with Luis Suarez’s enterprise coupled with Andy Carroll’s presence a real threat notwithstanding their disappointing draw against Sunderland.
Carroll it was who scored the only goal in Newcastle’s shock win at the Emirates last season and manager Kenny Dalglish will be hopeful of a similar outcome from his number 9 with support from Suarez, Dirk Kuyt, Stewart Downing and Charlie Adam.
Arsenal will bank mainly on van Persie upfront as well as the back trio of Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny and Wojciech Szczesny – who have helped the club keep clean sheets in the last two games – to maintain that form against a fluctuative Liverpool side that had a disappointing second half last week following an impressive first.
The players would have their mental attribute tested and needing to down the poor aura of sharing points with the Reds last time they visited, in which Kuyt converted a 112th minute penalty to dent the Gunners’ title challenge then. And while it is too early for a defeat to either side dealing a major blow to any title ambitions, getting one over your rivals early on is never a bad idea and a win for Arsenal would greatly help boost belief in a team that so far has been largely devoid of creative spark and fluid play.
We’ll leave you with a bit of transfer news, we seem to have lost out in the race for Mata to Chelski which is rather irritating seeing as we found him, stalled stupidly till his fee went up and now we’re balking at the quoted fee.
But if reports are to be believed, we’ve agreed a deal to sign Lille winger Eden Hazard who in my opinion would be a great signing. Joel Campbell too has officially signed and has been training with the squad, he’ll probably have to wait a little longer before being involved.
Let’s pray we win at Udinese on Wed so we can sign A CB, a CM & and an attacker and all would be well again. From wherever you’re reading, enjoy the game.
P.S Let’s try not to boo Samir Nasri if he plays tomorrow, he just might score an own goal in retaliation.
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