Arsenal –Tottenham Hotspur: Match Preview

Arsenal take on North London rivals Tottenham in today’s clash at White Hart Lane. Spurs currently sit fourteen points ahead of the Gunners in second place, Wenger’s team need three points if they’ve got any chance of playing Champions League football next season.

 

Tottenham might still be dreaming of catching Chelsea, but sit four points behind them. Although this will be the first season that they’ll finish above the Gunners in the last twenty year, Arsene Wenger has reassured fans that one year doesn’t compare to twenty consecutive years…

 

This will be a big game for both sides, with the first game between these two ending in a draw in November, hopefully, we’ll fair better this time around! However, with Tottenham Hotspur comfortably sitting above Arsenal in the league and at home, they’ll be full of confidence.

 

Laurent Koscielny was in full first team training yesterday, so it looks like he’ll be starting the match. Hopefully, Rob Holding will come back into the side also after impressing against Manchester City. With Shkodran Mustafi out injured, it means that Gabriel will come back alongside the other two.

 

Monreal will surely play as left wing back, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain likely to come back in as the right wing back. Although this depends whether Wenger will be seeking a more defensive set up, which might be wise against this attacking Spurs team. Ramsey and Xhaka will start in the midfield, with Alexis and Ozil ahead of them.

 

Wenger will probably start Giroud up top, although it might make it easier for the Tottenham’s defence, he certainly holds the ball up well. If it’s not working that way than Wenger will have the ability to bring Danny Welbeck on from the bench, which will create room for the team as he drags defenders left and right.

 

Wenger really needs to win this one and the rest of the games this season, if Arsenal have any hope of being in the top four at the end of the season.

Arsenal 1 – Leicester City 0: Player Ratings

After a day to reflect we’ve produced the player ratings for Arsenal’s much-needed win against the Premier League champions. The Gunners managed to finish the game 1-0, thanks to a Robert Huth own goal.

 

Petr Cech – 7.5
Didn’t have much to do but made a great save in the first half to deny Leicester. From taking the lead.

 

Gabriel – 7.5
Playing well as of late and that was the case again, solid at the back. Think this new formation really suits the player.

 

Laurent Koscielny – 8
Kept the defence organised, However, the knee injury he picked up late on in the game was quite worrying seeing as no one was near him at the time.

 

Nacho Monreal  – 7
Managed to get another goal, maybe it’s time to play him up top… Though I thought he plays better in the left wing back position, instead of one of the three at the back.

 

Hector Bellerin – 7.5
Got forward well, but his delivery in the final third was really poor.

 

Francis Coquelin – 7
Leicester sat back for most of the game, so there wasn’t too much to do for the player. Would have been better to start with a more attacking midfielder.

 

Granit Xhaka – 7.5
One of our most effective players during the 90 minutes, he manages to link up the play well and try and make things happen.

 

Kieran Gibbs – 7
Hasn’t played much this season but looked well, he’s a good player to bring on when we’re trying to defend a lead, don’t think he should be starting.

 

Mesut Ozil – 6.5
Nothing seemed to work for him tonight, worked the ball well but hardly anything to mention from the player.

 

Theo Walcott – 6.5
Went missing really, hardly got the ball.

 

Alexis Sanchez – 6.5
Gave the ball away a lot, though you can see why we start him when he can rattle the crossbar out of nowhere.  The throw-in incident at the end was also quite humorous and wasted a fair bit of time.

 

Substitutes
Danny Welbeck – 6

Olivier Giroud – 6

Aaron Ramsey – 6

Arsenal – Leicester City: Match Preview

Tonight Arsenal take on Premier League Champions Leicester City at the Emirates, although there’s still seven games to go the Gunners need to pick up every point possible in order to be playing Champions League football next year.

 

There’s not really any team news as we didn’t manage to pick up any injuries during the win against Manchester City at the weekend, both of which were miracles. However, with the match going to extra time, it’s surely going to have had some kind of effect on the players. Though, with this being a big match against Leicester (who have been surprisingly good of late), is it worth the risk?

 

Oxlade-Chamberlain did leave the ground on crutches on Sunday, yet this was just a precautionary measure and was in full training with the first team squad yesterday. Maybe this could be the sort of game where Luas Perez and others on the fringes of the squad can get some game time.

 

Although Wenger might find this the perfect opportunity to start Welbeck up front and see if he fits into the formation better than Giroud, pushing Perez in behind the striker, maybe giving Ozil or Alexis a rest.

 

The attitude of the team on Sunday was great, with the Arsenal players all working together, for once in a while and even managing to hold onto a lead for more than five minutes, hopefully, this can continue. The manager talked pre-match about needing seven wins to reach the top four, one of which will hopefully be tonight. Although this seems like an impossible task, made even harder by the run in: Tottenham, Manchester United, Stoke and Everton all left to play, it can be done.

 

Hopefully, we can pick up the three points needed tonight and build from there.

Arsenal 2 – Manchester City 1: Player Ratings

A great win for the Arsenal and suddenly this season doesn’t seem too bad, with a place in the final of the F.A Cup. Whether we can actually win that game is a different matter, however, let’s just enjoy the moment for now.

 

Petr Cech – 6.5
Wasn’t good enough on the goal, should have come out a lot quicker! However, he made up for it with a great save from Yaya Toure’s effort.

 

Gabriel – 8.5
Easily the best game he’s had in an Arsenal shirt, defended really well and suits the new formation down to a tee.

 

Laurent Koscielny – 8
Solid as always at the back, it’s nice to see a defence that you’re confident in for a change.

 

Rob Holding – 8.5
It was a massive game for the 20-year old, nevertheless, he dealt with the pressure easily putting in a great performance at the back.

 

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 9
Great cross for Monreal’s goal! Was going back and forth down the line superbly,  it looks like that right wing back position is suited perfectly for him.

 

Aaron Ramsey – 6
Worked hard all day, but he gave away the ball which led to City’s goal.

 

Granit Xhaka – 7
Was also responsible for City’s goal, he shouldn’t have been that far up the pitch and instead sat back on Aguero. Though he worked hard all day.

 

Nacho Monreal – 9
One of our best players today and even managed to get a goal for us, defended terrifically all game.

 

Mesut Ozil – 7
Not his best game in an Arsenal shirt, had quite a few chances to make a big difference in the game but he didn’t take them.

 

Alexis Sanchez – 7.5
Always loves a big game, managed to get the winning goal as well.

 

Olivier Giroud – 6.5
Don’t think he fits into this new formation, he played similarly against Middlesborough and we looked better when he went off. However, if he doesn’t get good service, we can’t really blame him for anything.

 

Substitutes
Danny Welbeck – 7

Hector Bellerin – 6.5

Francis Coquelin – 6

Arsenal – Manchester City: Match Preview

The Gunner’s face Manchester City in the F.A Cup semi-final this weekend, with Arsenal a win away from the F.A Cup final. The Gunners go into the game on the back of an away win at Middlesbrough, which the North London club really needed.

 

Arsenal have won The F.A Cup twice in the last three season, however, their concentration is likely to be more focused on the race for Champions League qualification. Arsenal trail City by seven points in the league, and United by three (although the North Wet club have a game in hand).

 

This is a must win for the team, however, the Gunners have a few players out injured with David Ospina, Danny Welbeck, Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez all sidelined.

 

With Wenger changing the formation to a three-man defence in the last game it is yet to see whether he’ll try this again. Although it was nice to see a change in the way the team line up and the way the team play, many have questioned whether it actually made any difference.

 

This begs the question to whether Hector Bellerin and Theo Walcott will return to the lineup and what the back four/three will consist of with Mustafi out injured

 

This game is a must win for Arsene Wenger, with this being the only hope of silverware the Gunners have this season. If Wenger does sign a new two-year deal, a trophy at the end of the season is going to taste slightly less bitter to Arsenal fans.