Saturday, 26 October 2013

Crystal Palace vs Arsenal: Match Preview



This should be a piece of cake.

With Crystal Palace in second bottom position, looking destined for relegation already, and no proper managerial stability, we should be trashing this team, even if it is at their home. Quite frankly, we should take this game as one to vent our recent frustration on, due to narrowly losing against Dortmund.

This game can also be taken as a warm up, or a chance to rest our big guns before the towering fixtures arrive. After Crystal Palace, we host Chelsea in a crucial Capital One Cup fixture. I call it 'crucial' because it's the best way to win a trophy this season. It's about time that we lift the burden of "8 years no trophy" off our heads, and win something to shut the mouths of the critics. And these group of lads deserve it, because their a bunch of honest people who work their socks off every match.

Arsene Wenger believes that his team has learnt from the Dortmund game, by saying:

"Even if we lost there were a lot of positives because we controlled them quite well, a team who went to the final in a convincing way last year. Despite the disappointment, it should give us belief. I am quite confident and I think we have learned from the Dortmund game.”

I highly doubt that. Arsene Wenger's Arsenal are a team that have never learnt from their mistakes made in the previous years. Till today there is nervy defending of set-pieces, hardly any tangible impact of substitutes, constant overplaying of key players and a lack of winning mentality. I'm sorry, I just don't buy it.

Anyway, in team news, Flamini is fit again and Wilshere is facing a late test but reports suggest that it is short term. Arsene Wenger, however, has finally admitted that his ankle problem will be a recurring one due to him overplaying Jack. However, I don't think that either of them need to play today for us to win this one. I think that if we go with our second squad, namely the back five of Viviano, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Nacho Monreal, the midfield trio of Mikel Arteta, Ramsey and Rosicky and with Gnabry, Ryo and Bendtner playing upfront we should comfortably win this. And if not, won't we have a better impact from the bench than we had earlier?

However, I don't have much faith in Wenger's man management, and I suspect that he'll start Giroud, Ozil, and Santi Cazorla for this match and probably play his worst team possible for the Chelsea fixture ("Because it's Capital One Cup, who cares about that, right?"). It's poor man management and he's clearly setting the wrong priorities, but that's Arsene Wenger for you. We just have to helplessly hope that none of our key players pick up a knock.

Anyway, irrespective of the squad, we should be winning this comfortably. If City beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and we win this, then we go 3 points clear at the top of the table. Not a bad position to be in after 9 games played, eh?

Here's to results going our way and another easy Arsenal win. Come on You Gunners.

-Santi (Follow me on twitter: @ArsenalBlogz )