Arsenal V Liverpool: The Final Nail Or A New Dawn?

Firstly, I would like to thank all of you who shared some well articulated thoughts on yesterdays post. I guess most of the rational fans agree that our problems are complex and cannot be stated in one or two off the cuff statements. I’ll return to that discussion after the Liverpool game.

In Liverpool, we face another strong defensive unit and a team that has reverted to prioritizing defense after a failed and flawed attempt at attacking football in the early part of the year. Our fragile and injury plagued attack faces another stern test after scoring just one deflected goal in the last three games. We will definitely not get too many chances and unless our key players are clinical enough we won’t have much to rejoice. Hopefully, Arshavin will build on his scoring streak against the Mugsmashers.

Our mental strength will also be under scrutiny after demoralizing defeats against the title rivals. I have not been fully convinced by the body language of some of our players and we could pay the price for some off-key performances. On the other hand there is a case that our problems against Chelsea and United are more psychological than football related. In that case we could start another positive run with a good win against the Scousers.

Our defense will again be tested by long balls, counter-attacks and devilish strikes and set-pieces by Gerrard. On a positive note the absence of Torres, Johnson and Benayoun should be beneficial as all of them have an ability to run at the defenders, something we have struggled with recently.

Liverpool are a team that likes to come out with a high tempo and we have to make sure we don’t go down early on to another sloppy goal. The longer the game continues without a goal or if we get an early goal our chances of winning will increase.

Here’s an interesting piece of trivia – We have played a third vs fourth game twice at home this season, once against the tiny tots and once against Villa. Both games ended 3-0 to the Arsenal. Cesc was phenomenal in both games and scored a sublime goal in each.

This result will decide if it’s the final nail in our title challenge or the start of a strong run. United and Chelsea have tough games and could easily drop some points. If we can win this one things might not look so bad with a dozen games remaining.

There isn’t much Wenger can do with the starting line up. I doubt if Bendtner is fit enough to start so we might see Arshavin continuing in the controversial role. Walcott will probably be on the bench after a poor game against United and I think Eboue will offer better balance on the right side. Rosicky might come in on the left in place of Nasri.

The team I would like to see is,

Almunia; Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy; Song, Cesc, Diaby; Eboue, Arshavin, Rosicky.

If Song can do a good job on Gerrard, Liverpool will be restricted to set-pieces. Unfortunately, we cannot be confident of keeping a clean sheet even in that case. I am thinking of a 1-1 draw or a repeat of the Anfield result.


17 Responses to Arsenal V Liverpool: The Final Nail Or A New Dawn?

  1. messi says:

    mate going for a 1-1 draw is ridiculous but then again that is your opinion and fair enough without any torres, benayoun, johnson, and aquiliani this should be a game that we should win by far liverpool or no liverpool believe me we will beat them. As long as we keep Kuiyt quiet then we should beat them fairly comfortable. Vermaelen and Gallas will have N’Gog in their pockets so its not a problem Im just wanting us to take our chances as soon as possible so that they can come out more open and we set people like cesc, diaby, arshavina and walcott all loose.

    this is my squad:

    almunia

    sagna gallas vermaelen clichy

    ……cesc…song…diaby…..

    ….eboue….arshavin…rosicky…

    subs; fabianski,campbell, traore, ramsey, walcott,
    nasri, bendtner.

    Going for an arsenal win 3-1 or 2-0. Goals from arshavin, cesc and probs diaby.

    We will be too good for a liverpool side without torres, benayoun, aquiliani and johnson.

    THIS IS A MAKE OR BREAK! COME ON ARSENAL!

    • critic says:

      u idiot…..team don’t require world class strikers to beat arsenal..one set piece, one clichy run and damage has been done….

    • desigunner says:

      I’ll be delighted if 1-1 turns out to be ridiculous and we win by 2 goals or by any margin for that matter. Liverpool haven’t conceded in 4 league games and look like their own defensive self. Plus we can concede anytime. This led me to believe that both teams will score one. Moreover our recent record (leaving Carling Cup out) against Liverpool hasn’t been that good.

  2. Maddy says:

    Desi desi desi, Why so pessimistic? Keep the faith mate πŸ™‚

  3. Alemu - Ethiopia says:

    it is really very diffecult to talk about the gunners.we are really getting sick about them.they are playing entertaining game and lose it.whatever is the result we most of Ethiopians are in the side of the Gunners.Gunners are Gunners forever.

  4. Nischit says:

    While I admire the apprehension desi, we really should smash liverpool in this. Arsenal are due goals and the only thing that stops me from predicting a goal fest is that our opposition is liverpool, who are managed by a highly “pragmatic” manager. I think he’ll be delighted to get a point outta this, and all of stevie’s talk of 3rd place is a smokescreen! 3rd place?? seriously?? They’re barely in 4th place. If arsenal do slip outta third place ( and i dont think they will), there are more consistent teams than liverpool waiting to take our place in my opinion. That said, here’s hoping for a 13 game winning streak on our charge to the title. Cheers

    • desigunner says:

      Well, liverpool are third in the form table based on last 6 matches with 14 points i.e. only two behind United and Chelsea.

      I’m apprehensive because they are not as bad as they were made out to be when they had a bad run. As long as we don’t give away stupid goals we should be fine.

      • Nischit says:

        Hmmm I didn’t know about the form table bit, but some reason, I think Arsenal should be able to atleast break them down and hopefully put a couple of goals past them. What does worry me is that Liverpool have the defensive ability to stifle Arsenal but I’m not sure they have the same ability as chelsea or man utd to score on the counter. I’m not feeling it today so I’m going for a 0-0 draw

  5. Nischit says:

    btw, physioroom says RVP is due to return on 20 mar 2010 . http://www.physioroom.com/news/english_premier_league/epl_injury_table.php?SKEY=d10c86a2c56d7a0d6987ddc427b004aa

    hope we’re still in the cup with big ears then. If we are, I really fancy us for it, cos we’re really a much more potent team with him

    • desigunner says:

      I’d seen some other reports about this as well but Wenger was quite categorical that he won’t be back before April. I think Arsene will not rush him even if he is ready because we have seen the problems with that in the past.

      Van Persie could be big for us in CL semis and final if we can get there.

  6. critic says:

    u called nasri and vermalean flops??? do u meant it???or it was just a mocking towards moaners??

  7. bobbygee says:

    How about starting Sol Campbell. This mught be an option. We really need to win but a tie will do in a pinch. We must not give up stupid goals.The counter attack and set pieces killed us. This is a huge match. Man U has a hard time on the road. I would not be surprised if the Red Devils lost. Attack-play good D”. These are the keys. http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

  8. Vaclav says:

    Hi, nice blog, if you are interested in link exchange, please send me an email.

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