I’ve been bed ridden for 1.5 days with a nasty cold, sore throat and fever, but somehow I am still ‘stoked’ for the away game on Sunday- Arsenal vs Stoke. In case you’ve been away from all the transfer news, we’ve lost Sahin out to Liverpool. Wenger said that he wants to land a special player in a few days. Like most Gunners, I am eagerly excited and equally frustrated at the ups and downs of this transfer window. Oh and did I mention that Theo Walcott might be leaving the club soon as well? But anyways, let’s get back to the football part. Tony Pulis’ side always pose a physical threat to Arsenal. I pray that none of our new recruits especially Cazorla get injured during this match. So let’s take a look at the potential line-up and possible score prediction at the end of 90 minutes.
GK: Chesney is expected to be in goal and will brush off a slight rib injury. Fabianski might return to the sub bench replacing Mannone after his back injury subsided.
DEF: Expect the same back four (Gibbs, Vermaelen, Per, Jenkinson) to maintain continuity- Also because we have no other choice with Andre Santos being arrested and Sagna still out injured long time. Keep the faith in Corporal Jenkinson, the lad’s doing his best. That being said, Le Boss wants to sign a defender (The ‘Special’ Player) and a defensive midfielder (to fill in for Song). I don’t know how many of you were impressed at our defensive shape and organization against Sunderland. I certainly was, I can see the Steve Bould effect. But Wenger would like to change the formation to a more attacking stance which we could witness at the Britannia Stadium.
MID: Arteta and Diaby will be the midfield core, Wenger has a LOT of faith in Diaby. He is a talented player, no doubt with even France Coach Laurent Blanc speaking highly of his skills. The Song replacement will come to rotate with either Arteta or Diaby, based on the fatigue levels of the two. Cazorla and Gervinho are attacking mainstays without a doubt, well atleast until Gervinho goes for the African Cup of Nations and also until Wilshere, Rosicky get back. Oh and if Walcott isn’t on the team sheet tomorrow, it’s a confirmation that he is leaving. But not to worry, we have one Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain waiting in the wings, quite literally.
ATT: After that sliced shot last week, Giroud might be itching to prove himself, which can only be a good thing, unless he hogs all the chances. Podolski for me must play in the left wing position, where Robin Van Nistelrooy (Refer previous posts to get this reference) first started for Arsenal. Also, Arshavin needs to be given a free role and not be limited to the left wing and a little more effort from his side would also be highly welcoming- Such a waste of talent.
Hmm, a 1-1 at the Britannia Stadium doesn’t seem unlikely. Expect a parked bus defence and counter attacks from Stoke. If you are a prediction maestro, leave your score predictions below and if any of you get it right, you will henceforth be the official Score Teller. Don’t forget to check out our page http://www.facebook.com/gunnersfolife . We also have a facebook group – http://www.facebook.com/groups/gunnersfolife plus I am always glad to hear your thoughts on our club on Twitter, my handle is @AslamIMZ.