Match Preview – Arsenal vs Liverpool (Home) – Nov 2 2013
It’s almost been a year since I stopped my blog because of the lack of fight and ambition from the club I’ve grown up watching since high school. Finally I jump from my seat in joy and not yell at the TV like I have done since we moved to the Emirates Stadium. This season we have grit and experience and a LOT more quality (at least in the first 11). Arsenal now sits atop the league but for how long? The real season begins now…. A barrage of heavyweight clashes starts with a home game with Liverpool followed by Man United away. A Clash with Dortmund on their home turf is also in the cards. November is the season defining month for us. It would tell us where we would stand come January and from there on in May. The Premier League is our ideal challenge, the FA cup, Capital One Cup are insignificant for a drought of 8 years. The Champions League a higher challenge that can only be won through a better squad depth. Baby steps…but quick ones at it.
Now to tonight’s challenges across the field:
(1) DEF vs ATT: Liverpool and more importantly the SAS (Sturridge and Suarez) deadly duo: We have our own deadly duo- Centrebacks Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny. In addition, our fullbacks are well experienced now to balance between defense and attack. Liverpool’s more central attacking play should help our cause of bombarding forward. Contain one of the SAS and we should have an unlikely cleansheet.
(2) MID vs MID: With most teams, we have an upper hand when it comes to the middle of the park. Henderson and the aging (yet world class) Gerrard have nothing on us. The game’s pace SHOULD be dictated through our midfield, so let us hope the Gunners diamond are up for it.
(3) ATT vs DEF: I believe the main difference, the match wining point lies only on one man as has been the case for this season. That man is Olivier Giroud, not Ozil, Ramsey, Flamini, Cazorla but Giroud. He has to lead the line perfectly, hold up play and score at every chance he gets. His absence was felt in the midweek game against Chelsea. I sincerely hope Wenger gets us a good striker come January to partner with Giroud and offload Bendtner (I have nothing to say about this guy!). This is because some matches are clearly won with a 4-4-2 and not a 4-5-1. Giroud has to be our powerhouse today and score past Skrtel and Mignolet.
Surprisingly the presence of Ozil has calmed me down this season. You may notice the ranting is less. But the improvement of the squad around him (Ramsey et Co.) is far more appeasing. I am a realist and a tad bit pessimist but I must say, this Arsenal can go all the way. Stick together, work for each other and play the Gunner way. And we will be unstoppable. Have a good weekend Red n White Army!
Squad Prediction: Szczesny, Gibbs, Sagna, Per, Koscielny, Ramsey, Arteta, Cazorla, Wilshere, Ozil et Giroud
Score Prediction: 2-1 or 2-2 . This will be a tight finish, so hold on to the edge of your seats Gunners.