Liverpool vs Arsenal: A Quick Match Preview

Wow! I can finally write a post without a potential transfer on my mind, the transfer window has finally been closed and now we can fully focus on the team, get behind it and enjoy the football the team plays without looking at or concentrating on the “holes” in the team that begs for signings.

We face a tricky match this afternoon where a lot of people already have their “blame-game menu” in order and are just waiting for the team to drop points so that they can place the blame at the manager and Ivan Gazidiz’ doors and declare that “we would have won the match if we had signed so so player”, talk about “football immaturity”.

Coming off the back of two draws against Sunderland and Stoke, i believe we should have a more open game against Liverpool, thanks to Brendan Rodgers’ brand of football which entails short passing, energetic pressing and tricky wing play.
This brand of football has its weakness especially for a team that is in transition to that particular pattern of play, I can quite remember the sort of problem Chelsea had with their defence during AVB’s reign. It is well documented that Liverpool’s main problem so far has been at the back, with five goals conceded in two games. Rodgers’ insistence on a high defensive line got Daniel Agger into trouble against West Brom, and the passing from the back has resulted in a few misplaced balls – most notably Martin Skrtel’s error against City for Carlos Tevez’s goal.  So I expect our wingers to use their pace effectively to explore this weakness.

This is a match where we can finally judge the attacking ability of the team and also see how well the defence can keep its shape against a stronger opposition which brings about certain questions about the team selection. Should Koscielny be used in place of PM4 even though he just recovered? Should we tamper with a back four that has kept two consecutive clean sheets in order to accommodate Koscielny who is faster than Mertesacker?

Wojciech Szczesny is reported to be unfit for the match so Don Vito Mannone is expected to be in goal and build on his performance against Stoke city last week. With Sagna still out injured, we’ll probably have the same back four that we have used for the last two matches unless Arsene Wenger thinks Koscielny’s pace will be needed in nullifying the attacking threat that liverpool might pose.
In midfield, i’ll settle for Arteta and Diaby to be the double pivot while Cazorla is given the freedom to cause the havoc i know he can cause on Liverpool’s defence.
Choosing those to start in attack is the tricky one as it has been reported by a reliable source that “The Ox” will start so that leaves just two players to fill out in the other two positions in front, unless he was chosen to replace Abou Diaby in midfield which i think to be quite unlikely.
Therefore, I think we’ll start with Chamberlain, Giroud and Gervinho upfront as i will be so scared to put our two center forwards on the same pitch, no thanks to our romance with stupid injuries. If things are going bad late on, I’d bring Podolski in on the left and stick with Giroud.
I think the line up will look like this:

      Mannone

                            Jenks – Per – Verm – Gibbs

                                       Arteta – Abou

                                 Ox – Caz – Gervinho

                                             Giroud

The team needs to play their game. We need to play as a unit at the back and we need to take the ‘handbrake’ off going forward. Finding our shooting boots today is absolutely essential. This is a match that we really have to win if we are really serious about challenging for the title as losing this match will lead to a huge amount of pressure to be heaped on the team as it will be Arsenal’s 2nd worst start to a premier league season. The fans have to get behind the team and support the team fully as no amount of booing, whining and moaning will bring reopen the transfer window till January. Lets just focus all our energy on supporting the team and pray we have no problems with injuries again this season.

I hope we enjoy the game and have a reason for the doomsters to keep their blame cards in their trashcan for a long long time.
Stay safe!

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