I’ll admit it. I don’t know anything about Olympiacos FC. Aside from the reports that have flooded in over the last two days (Journo’s do have a purpose) I don’t know dick about this club, mostly because I’ve never seen them play. If you have seen them and want to share your experiences with us, please do, that’s why the gods created comments on blogs.
I do know that they are Greece’s most successful club, that they will be wearing black kits tonight, and that they are very good at home in European competitions and very very bad away from home in European competitions.
I also know that they have shared their “tactics” with us all and that their cunning plan will be to 1) deny Cesc the ball and 2) deny us space. Genius, they must have watched a film of us play or something.
Nicholas Fender Bendtner wrecked his Aston Martin yesterday and from the looks of it he finally finished something. This was no minor slip off the road into a sapling, but a full on death defying car crash… at 10am, sober. He’s being withheld as a precaution and so he won’t play today.
As I reported yesterday, Denilson is out for “two months” with a fractured back. A lot of folks are reminded of Gilberto’s fractured back and how he was out most of a season and I too feel like this “two months” estimate might be a bit optimistic. As Mia pointed out in yesterday’s comments, players who return from this type of injury often go on to pick up other niggling injuries as they work their way back to fitness and I think this is especially true in the engine room of the team. Let’s all touch wood (he he, touch “wood”) that Denilson has a speedy recovery and that by some stroke of luck is never injured ever again. EVAR.
Nasri is still out with the broken leg and combined with all our other injuries that means that our midfield options are very limited. Remember how at the start of the season I was all bragging about how stacked Arsenal were in midfield? I do still believe that we are stacked and am grateful that we are so blessed to have Diaby, Eboue, Song, Rosicky, Cesc, Ramsey and Merida available. That said, a lot of those names are real question marks as for their match readiness and only a precious few of those players can truly play the holding role. So, it’s a mixed bag for me. The boss could, for example, put Rosicky in Cesc’s spot and move Cesc into a more holding role. As you can see from that example, though, it might not be the best use of Cesc Fabregas. Whatever Wenger chooses to do today, sorting this sort of selection nightmare is where Wenger earns his pay. I’m sure he’ll get it right.
Or he’ll play Eboue in the holding role like he did last year, to GREAT SUCCESS!
Walcott is ready and begging to play but the boss is saying that he lacks match fitness. Almunia is still out with a “chest” infection. And finally, Fabianski and Djourou are both still out recovering from surgery.
I don’t really think this is much of a controversial selection on my part. The boss has highlighted van Persie’s touch and creativity as the reason why he plays him alone up front instead of Fender Bendtner. He talked about Eduardo being available for the match, and Rosicky needs a run out I think, so that’s why I put those two in. The rest of the team selects itself really.
Feel free to disagree!
Where to watch the match?
If you live there, I’m sorry but it’s sold out so you can’t go. You can watch it on Sky Sports Xtra if you have that or maybe you’ll have to go to the local boozer.
Here in North America the match is being carried on your local Fox Sports Net channel. This is different from your Fox Soccer Channel, it’s usually part of your basic cable and usually shows regional sports programming. Here in the PNW, we actually have a High Definition feed for our local Fox Sports Net, so, and this is super exciting, I get to watch Arsenal in High Def for the very first time. I’m so excited all six of my nipples are tingling.
I don’t know about the rest of the world, so if you live somewhere other than England or North America, please feel free to share where you can watch the match in the comments.
- Arsene Wenger was not handed a £60m “war chest” and even if he was, he won’t spend it until he finds a “Goldilocks” signing.
- Carlos Vela is not going to Xeres.
- Fabregas will have 1 goal and 1 assist tonight
- Arshavin will come on in the 70th minute
- Arsenal will win 3-1.
That’s it for today, Kickers, see you tomorrow for the Good, Bad, and Ugly.