Arsenal – Crystal Palace: Match Preview

Arsenal host South London club Crystal Palace on Monday night, with the Gunners trying to make the ground up on Liverpool and Manchester City, in the hope to guarantee Champions League football next season. Arsenal currently sit in 5th place in the league, though they’ll have to catch up as they’re the last team to play this week.

 

In terms of team news, Wenger said Laurent Koscielny is set to be out for a shorter time than expected after the player went off injured with a suspect Achilles injury in the match against Manchester City. The Frenchman will be ruled out for the game against Palace but could be back for next Monday’s match.

 

Emiliano Martinez will be between the sticks for Wenger’s side as Cech and Ospina are still out injured, the Frenchman will be hoping that he’ll be able to keep another clean sheet after his impressive midweek performance.

 

The manager also had a few words to say about Alexis Sanchez, with the player making more headlines every day about a move away from the club. In the pre-match conference, the manager spoke that he believes that the Chilean is happy at the club, and thinks it’s down to his agent and club to reach a figure.

 

Hopefully, the North London club will be able to get the better of Palace, and they’ve certainly got history on their side with Arsenal only losing once in the last 15 meetings (W11 D3 L1). However, Arsenal have always struggled against Sam Allardyce teams, with the way he sets out his team, so hopefully although it’ll be a struggle we’ll be able to come out with three points.

Arsenal – Manchester City: Match Preview

Arsenal takes on Pep Guardiola’s side in the Premier League tomorrow, with City currently 7 points ahead of the Gunners who sit in 3rd place.

 

With Wenger still not announcing his future plans for him and the club, he will be under even more pressure to get something from today’s game. However, this might be a perfect game for the manager, with Arsenal fans not expecting to get anything from today’s game, the team can play a free flowing attacking game with nothing to lose.

 

In terms of team news for the North London club, Mesut Ozil could make his first appearance after being out for six weeks, but Arsenal’s number one Peter Cech is ruled out with a calf injury, meaning David Ospina will have his chance to impress once again. Lucas Perez is out with a thigh injury, which is good for Wenger…. as he doesn’t have to find an excuse not to play the forward, despite his excellent playing record.

 

Arsenal are going through their worst form with Wenger at the helm, with the Gunners losing four of their last five Premier League games, for the first time since 1995.

 

With even a Champions League spot looking like an unrealistic prospect, they really need to get at least a point from this game. Wenger’s side has two games in hand on Liverpool, but the North West club are 6 points ahead.

 

Wenger and the players take a break

It’s been reported that the Arsenal manager has gone away for a few days to decide what he wants to do with his future, whether to stay at the club or to carry on his managerial career away from North London.

 

This is after Wenger said he’d tell the press what his future holds after the international break, meaning times running out for the Frenchman.

 

With Arsenal struggling in the Premier League, currently sitting in 6th position, and with no chance of catching Chelsea at the top, it only leaves Arsenal fans with the F.A Cup to dream about. However, with the match against Manchester City, it looks like the Gunners won’t be lifting silverware anytime soon unless our form takes a dramatic turn.

 

Most of the first team have gone on international duty, although, no Arsenal player managed to make an appearance in the Germany – England game last night. With Walcott dropped by Southgate for the fixtures and Oxlade-Chamberlain only making the bench for the match, it doesn’t look like Arsenal will be the core of the England team anytime soon. Mustafi and Ozil are also in the Germany squad, but didn’t make an appearance last night.

 

Alexis should be on the pitch for Chile’s match against Argentina tonight; although the manager thought that the player had picked up a serious injury in Gunner’s recent game, but has still travelled with his international squad.

 

Nacho Monreal has been called up to Spain’s squad for their qualifying match again Israel on Friday, however,  there is no Bellerin in the squad as he’s playing for the U21’s tonight. Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud both play for France in their match against Luxemburg for France on Saturday, hopefully, Giroud will manage to get a goal and change his recent poor form.

 

Aaron Ramsey is also in action with Wales for their match against Ireland tomorrow and Alex Iwobi should be playing for Nigeria tonight, which should be good with the player struggling for form of late.

 

It’ll hopefully be good for the players and the manager to go away for a few days and get some time away from the spotlight and hopefully come back rejuvenated, hopefully…

Arsenal – West Brom: Match Preview

Arsenal travel to the West Midlands in the early kick off today, to face Tony Pulis’s West Brom side in the Premier League.

 

The Gunners will be hoping for a win, although it will be a difficult game with West Brom playing a physical game, not suited to Wenger’s side. This will probably mean that the manager will start Giroud up front, with the intention of stopping the Baggies dangerous set pieces from finding the back of the net.

 

With the combination of Xhaka and Ramsey working well in the previous match against Lincoln, it looks like they’ll get another go in the midfield. Wenger spoke to the press about the Swiss international earlier in the week, stating that he needs to try and sort out his tackling as he’s earned a bad reputation because of it.

 

Wenger will have to make a big call on whether to keep Oxlade-Chamberlain in the midfield or to put Ozil back into the side, behind the front three. Either side of Giroud we’ll likely see Alexis and Walcott, both of whom started in the last game and both played well. The Englishman certainly looked our most dangerous player going forward in that game. Saying that it’ll mean another game on the bench for Lucas Perez and little or no game time for Danny Welbeck.

 

With just one win in our last four Premier League Games, it’s now time that Arsenal really start to put the pressure on and try to secure that Champions league qualifying spot that we all dream of…

Arsenal – Lincoln City: Match Preview

After the Gunners humiliating defeat against Bayern this week, Wenger’s team host Lincoln City in the F.A cup quarter-finals this weekend.

 

With Arsenal crashing out of the Champions league and sitting in 5th position in the Premier league; this looks like Arsenal’s only opportunity to progress further in a competition and maybe get their hands on silverware this season.

 

After the defeat there has been more calls for Wenger to resign at the end of the season and even more reports of players wanting to jump ship come the Summer; Ozil, Sanchez, Chamberlain and Ospina to name a few.

 

However this will not be an easy fixture for the North London club, with their opponents ‘the Imps’ currently top of the national league after 34 matches, and favourites for promotion to the football league.

 

The French manager is likely to rotate his team slightly and give those on the fringes of the team a bit of game time. Ospina will start in net, as he does in every cup competition and we’ll likely see the return of  Rob Holding, Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Ainsley Maitland-Niles into the team.

 

Conversely,  Danny Welbeck, Alex Iwobi and Mesut Ozil are all doubts for the game due to illness, maybe there’s a bug going round at London Colney, who knows.

 

Nevertheless whatever the line up the Gunners ‘should’ have too much quality for the non-league side. Though anything is possible, as the East midlands team have already knocked out Premier League opposition in the last round.

 

A win will see the Gunners one step closer to silverware and a defeat I dread to think…