Well we’re up against another club from the Lancashire area but unlike with Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers, Arsenal will be home to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon in a Premier League encounter.
Ahead of the match, manager Arsène Wenger insisted that the club is doing all it can to improve on the defense, which has conceded fourteen goals already in five league matches. “We work on it every day and practice… there is a lot to improve in our defensive consistencies” said Wenger, making reference to a solid defensive display at Dortmund followed by an abject opposite at Blackburn days later.
And according to stats from Opta, Bolton’s three goals against Arsenal last season were headed goals hence the need for the first team defense, marshalled by Koscielny and Mertesacker, to recover from that horrid display at Ewood Park when the Trotters visit the Emirates along with long time target Gary Cahill – whom Bolton manager Owen Coyle seems resigned to losing come January after stating there’ll be a number of clubs bidding for him then.
Yossi Benayoun will miss the match no thanks to a “strain” but should be in contention for the midweek Champions League match against Greek side Olympiakos. Otherwise we should have the usual faces lining up against the likes of Jussi Jaskkelainen, Tuncay, Kevin Davies, Martin Petrov, Chris Eagles and David Ngog.
Possible line-up: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Santos, Arteta, Song, Ramsey, Gervinho, Walcott, van Persie (c).
If you ask me I’d prefer having Frimpong and Song supporting Arteta in midfield seeing as Ramsey is not assured on the ball while Arshavin remains… one cocky Russian on the ball.
In matters off the pitch, club chairman Peter Hill-Wood has denied the club was at any point close to bringing Joey Barton to the Emirates contrary to the QPR captain’s revelation couple days ago that he came close to signing for Arsenal… whatever guys, let’s just get ourselves sorted in the league already!
And it was rather heart wrenching to learn that midfielder Jack Wilshere’s injury may take longer to heal after the club and the player (in tweets last night) revealed he would have surgery on his ankle on Monday after his bone there failed to respond well to being in a caste in the last month.
This development will see Wilshere sitting out on the sidelines until Christmas at least, a bit as Vermaelen was initially meant to last season. Hopefully in Jack’s case, he’ll be fully fit from January like van Persie was… complete with the sort of form the Dutchman came back with.
So, what do you make of our opposition this weekend and what do you think the outcome will be? Shout out to FolabiPojo for being spot on with his prediction of the League Cup win over Shrewsbury Town. Same result against Bolton perhaps?