Oh hello Arsenal, back so soon. 48 Hours or so since we last scorpion kicked our way to three points against Crystal Palace on Sunday evening. Well, 51 hours or so to be more precise.
Much has been made of the scheduling over this busy period and yes it is ridiculous to expect players to put their body under such stress without the needed recovery time, but I find it all kinda exciting. Watching Arsenal is one of my favourite pastimes and I am happy that I get the chance to do so, so soon after the last game. That being said, I will be the first to bitch about it if we fail to produce the type of performance we hope, we lose players to injury or a nasty combination of both.
This is going to be one difficult fixture that is fo’sho! The home game against AFC Bournemouth was one in which we picked up three points but it was a bloody close game if I remember rightly. They had control of parts of that game as well as having some decent chances to score against us, but the small details went in our favour.
Most Premier League games are like that these days and I’m sure it will be the case again this evening, especially away from home.
In fact we may have to fix a couple of psychological niggles as our last two away games may have shaken our belief a little, I hope not after such a good run away from the Emirates but back to back defeats at Goodison Park and then the Etihad probably didn’t do us much good.
It’s safe to say we are likely to see some more rotation tonight, well as much as Arsene can risk I suppose. I guess it’s a gamble either way isn’t it?
Alexis Sanchez being the perfect example. Had Arsene substituted him against Palace at 2-0 and we went on to draw the game 2-2, he would have been criticised for not taking care of the game at hand instead of focusing on future matches. Now if Alexis pulls up clutching his hamstring after 15 minutes *gulp* then, well you get my point.
[Insert who would be a manager quip]
According to a few journalists, it appears as if Mesut Özil will not be able to put his Lemsips to one side and hop out of his sickbed so young Iwobi can continue to do his funky thing in the position he enjoys the most.
Given that both Coquelin and Ramsey did not start the game on Sunday, it would be safe to suggest that they are likely to start but that brings about plenty of questions. Would Arsene rest Xhaka so he could fit Ramsey, Coquelin and Iwobi in the midfield? I doubt it, especially as Xhaka was so pivotal to our performance on Sunday. I can’t see Arsene moving Iwobi from number 10, even if he is a more natural fit on the flank than Aaron Ramsey is. Not to mention the Coq/Ramsey struggles as a two man midfield base.
I guess we won’t have to wait long to get the answers. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will come in for Lucas Perez no doubt. I hope he continues from where he left off coming off the bench. Love his can’t be bothered jog alongside the defender and then the turbo charged burst past him. Always good fun to watch.
I'd be quite tempted to rest Koscielny and bring in Mustafi to partner Gabriel. Kos has played a lot of football of late and I know he won't play in the cup but we cannot risk anything popping or twanging because of over playing. I suspect he will be tasked with getting through another 90 though.
Anyway, gotta dash and do stuff before the game in a couple of hours.