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 0 – Crystal Palace 3: Player Ratings

This must be the end, surely, with Arsenal fans singing “you’re not fit to wear the shirt”, I don’t think there’s any way of coming back from this, this is certainly the end for Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal.

 

Emiliano Martinez – 6
He’s really the least of our problems, we can’t be expecting world class saves from the third choice keeper. However was unlucky with the penalty and managed to go the right way, but still couldn’t save it.

 

Hector Bellerin – 6.5
Went well going forward, but looked shaky at the back. It might be time for him to spend some time on the bench, looks nowhere near like his former self.

 

Shkodran Mustafi – 7
Picked up a yellow, has started staying on his feet, but still looks shaky at the back.

 

Gabriel – 7
The better half of the two centre backs, but still hardly anything to brag about.

 

Nacho Monreal – 7
Another solid performance from Monreal! Win, lose or draw, Nacho always puts in a shift. However, he looked massively exposed at the back, due to the left forward not tracking back.

 

Mohamed Elneny – 6
After his good performance against West Ham I was hoping for more, however, that was yet to be the case, the only highlight was his shot going slightly wide.

 

Granit Xhaka – 7
His balls forward were our only threat, but then again half of them went wayward.

 

Theo Walcott  – 6.5
Captained the Gunners again, though it was a pretty poor show from him. That post-match interview he had summed up the state of the team at the minute, “They wanted it more”.

 

Mesut Ozil – 6.5
Nothing really worked for him tonight, has always looked shaky when playing away from home.

 

Alexis Sanchez – 7
Always tried to make things happen, but nothing did happen.

 

Danny Welbeck – 6
Went missing for all the time he was on, hardly even got a touch.

 

Substitutes
Olivier Giroud – 6

Aaron Ramsey – 6

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6.5

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.