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Arsenal v Cardiff: Preview, Injury News, Starting XI & Prediction
Arsenal take on Cardiff at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday afternoon and we have the opportunity to open up a seven point advantage at the top of the league.
We head into the weekend action four points clear of Chelsea and Liverpool and with our rivals not playing until Sunday, we need to take this chance to widen the gap with a win tomorrow.
We warmed up for the game with a straightforward 2-0 win over Marseille on Tuesday. We barely had to get out of second gear but did enough to secure the win thanks to a double from Jack Wilshere.
That came after a 2-0 victory over Southampton last weekend and again we weren’t at our best that day either, and I have a feeling we’ll have to put in a better display this time around if we want to come away with all three points.
Cardiff were excellent last Sunday when they came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Manchester United, so hopefully the boys know they are in for a tough game this weekend.
Kieran Gibbs missed out against Marseille due to illness but he returned to training on Thursday and is expected to come back in for Nacho Monreal – who will find himself unlucky to be dropped as he was excellent against the French outfit.
Mikel Arteta was rested in midweek and is likely to be recalled, but I’d like to see us stick with Aaron Ramsey alongside Mathieu Flamini in midfield.
Jack Wilshere has started the last two fixtures so I’d expected he’ll be given a breather with Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott given starts in attack.
Lukas Podolski is still a couple of weeks away from returning to the squad while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain won’t feature until the New Year.
This team should be more than capable of coming back from Wales with all three points. It has a good balance and we’d have the likes of Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta on the bench if we need to mix things up.
Cardiff proved last week they are no pushovers and they will be fresh having had the week off to recouporate. However, we’re in decent form and I’d like to think we’ll do enough to edge this game.
Cardiff 1-2 Arsenal COYG!!!
What are your thoughts for the game? Will we win? Should Walcott start?