Morning all, a quick Saturday round-up for you.
We’ll start with team news ahead of tomorrow’s crunch clash and Robin van Persie has an 80% chance of playing after picking up an ankle knock while we’ll definitely be without Johann Djourou who has a hamstring problem. We’re still without long termers Gallas and Ljungberg but apart from that everyone else is fit.
The only real question about tomorrow’s line-up is who partners Thierry Henry. It’s a tricky one for the manager but it’s the kind of tricky one he’d prefer to have with three excellent options rather than having nobody at all. If van Persie was fully fit I’d go with him, no question, but if he’s not quite 100% he might be best on the bench. I suspect he’ll go with Adebayor, who as Gunnerblog reports is set to be offered a new deal, but as I said I have sneaky feeling that this game could be made for Baptista. We’ll wait and see.
In other news AW explained the sale of Lauren saying that he didn’t want to lose either of Eboue or Hoyte and that Lauren was coming to the end of his contract. That’s another choice the manager has to make now that I think about. For me I’d stick with Hoyte. He’s done well, shown that he can improve and Eboue’s behaviour and temperament makes him a weak link, in my opinion. I did like the boss’s quote about Portsmouth though. It’s fast becoming an Arsenal retirement home on the South coast and the manager said:
Portsmouth are very intelligent. They just wait at our door to see who goes out and they take them.
He also talked about how a loss would end any faint title aspirations but he’s confident, saying:
It’s a good opportunity to reduce the distance on Manchester United and we want to use it. We are really determined to reduce the gap. We know we can beat United because we’ve done it away.
I think it’s going to be a tougher task than when we went to Old Trafford despite our injury problems at that time. United have really come into form and they look much more like the United of old than the watered down version from previous seasons. They’ve also added Henrik Larsson to their squad, a player Arsene Wenger admits gives him nightmares. He gives me a fucking pain in my hole but there you go.
Still, there’s no reason why we can’t beat them. We’re playing well, we’re at home, Thierry is back and looking the real deal and with Cesc, Rosicky and Hleb pulling the strings in midfield we can cause them problems. It’s going to be a good one.
Not much else happening. Congratulations to Thierry and Cesc who were included in UEFA’s team of the year. And there you go. Time for a bit of a fry-up then Liverpool v Chelsea and some PES6. Saturdays are good.