First up, congratulations to Theo Walcott and his wife Mel who announced yesterday that they are expecting their first child. Perhaps he could spread a little bit of his happiness onto the football pitch today and get a couple of goals!!
According to Steve Bruce, Arsene Wenger is interested in Hull striker Sone Aluko:
Arsene Wenger even asked about him the other day. That should give Sone confidence if someone like Arsene Wenger is asking all about when he’s coming back.
A January target? I hope not as he’s currently injured and not expected back until February.
Arsene had some good news in his pre-match press conference yesterday, both Bacary Sagna and Lukas Podolski should be available for today however, the latter is deemed to be a little be short (I guess he means fitness) to play in a game such as this. Not really sure why he can’t get his backside on the bench and be there just in case. He’ll definitely be in the squad for Chelsea though.
He also spoke about today’s opposition:
City has a very strong squad, I don’t deny that, but I look at my squad and I think – I don’t envy them.
I must admit, they have a few players who’d fit quite nicely into our squad, quite a few actually….
So, who will turn up today, a bunch of boys who haven’t been back long from Italy, or a group of grown men who are out to show just why we are and deserve to be top of the league?
If we are to get anything from this game, it has to be the latter. City have a great squad, they are very good at home and we saw what they did to our neighbours.
Tactics from the manager:
I believe you need a strong defensive performance, maybe the best way to do that is to attack and us have the ball and let them not find their flow.
Both teams will certainly produce top level performances … I think we have an opportunity to go from five to eight and that’s fantastic we have to look at it like that.
We certainly have the strong defence, even more so with the return of Bacary Sagna but as we’ve seen of late, we are somewhat struggling to create clear cut chances. Something which I know I struggle to understand considering the glut of talent we have in our midfield.
Manchester City are a side we have really struggled to score against over the last few seasons. In fact we have failed to score in six of our previous nine meetings in all competitions against them. So far this season we have scored 30 goals but City are on fire in front of goal, especially at home. So far this season they have massed a total of 29 goals, the highest in the league and that’s just at The Etihad…
So, that strong defence of ours has to be very strong.
This is the kind of game that will tell us exactly where we are in the league. Not positionally of course as we sit at the top so that’s pretty clear but if we are to go on and finally win the league, matches like this are ones we need to at least be getting a draw.
Only eleven players can be on the pitch at any one time and on our day we can beat any one IF every player and the manager gets it right.
Team selection, tactics and substitutions will play a huge part today and if Arsene get that right and we can win..
Player attitude, passion and the will to win needs to be there too and if we all of that, we can win..
City might be on a high after beating Bayern Munich in the week, well we are in need of a big performance to get our season back on track through this tough period.
And there’s nothing like beating a side like who we face today to do that…..
COYRRG’s, you can do it!!