Back to the Premier League today with Wigan coming to The Emirates.
News is that Szczesny is to continue in goal today with Fabianski still ruled out with injury but Chamakh and Denilson have recovered – good news about Chamakh but the latter, well I hope he doesn’t start anyway. I hope we field the same side we watched hammer the Hammers and not the side that dropped two points in the away fixture at Wigan a few weeks ago.
Again we have the matter of a Carling Cup semi-final in the week, so let’s hope this side today can kill the game off early then bring off a few to rest their ageing old bones! I really hope Wenger doesn’t pick his side with Tuesday in mind; he can worry about that at 5pm today and no sooner.
We have played Wigan eleven times in the Premier League, winning eight, drawing two and losing just the once but they have never beaten us at home. In fact we haven’t been beaten in the league since our trip to Old Trafford in December and we haven’t conceded a goal this year either. We have the strongest strike force in the league, scoring 45 goals in 22 games, if only we had conceded a few less, eh!
They have Victor Moses and James McCarthy missing today, despite recovering from injury and being back in training they are unlikely to feature today. Another doubt for them is goalkeeper Chris Kirkland – he’s recovered from his head injury but today may have come too soon for him to return, Al Habsi is his deputy. Tom Cleverley is also out for the visitors with a hamstring injury. They have lost just one of their last seven, league fixtures but have the weakest strike force in the league – scoring only 19 goals in their 22 fixtures. For those who love stats, Wigan are the only side not to have conceded a penalty so far in this campaign. Hope Theo is reading
Players to watch are Hugo Rodallega who has scored 6 goals and N’Zogbia who has 4. I know that is not many but we don’t want them adding to their goal tally today.
Kevin Friend is today’s referee, don’t think I’ve heard of him, at least it’s not Howard Webb. Talking of which, Manchester United have a tricky home fixture today against Birmingham, Manchester City head to Aston Villa in another tricky fixture – I hope Darren Bent hits the ground running at his new club and proves he is worth what Villa paid for him.
Tit bits – Jonathon Woodgate is the latest defender linked to us, I won’t even comment on a rumour which really only deserves to be printed on the 1st April! Wenger tells Fergie that his side are lucky to be unbeaten so far and there’s a long way to go before the word ‘Invincible’ is on their mind and finally, Vela, Ramsey and Lansbury are all going back out on loan. Rambo is to be a short-term; Vela and Lansbury are yet to be confirmed.
BBC’s Friday Focus presenter Dan Walker was at Arsenal’s training ground yesterday doing a preview of today’s fixture. He talks with Terry Butcher and Arsene Wenger – this is being shown today on Football Focus 1215 GMT on BBC One and their BBC website.
That’s it for today, three points up for grabs for this fixture, so best Wenger makes sure we get them too as the others around us at the top could just drop some….