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PREVIEW: Spurs v Arsenal: Injury News, Preferred XI + Prediction
It’s the big one; we take on Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon looking to keep alive our title hopes.
Chelsea blew the title race wide open after losing 1-0 to Aston Villa this evening so we have a golden opportunity to move back to within four points of the leaders with a game in hand.
We haven’t exactly been firing on all cylinders of late and we haven’t won away from home in the league in our last four attempts, so it’s about time we got back to winning ways as we had an excellent record away from home during the first half of the season.
A hard fought 1-1 draw in Germany on Tuesday wasn’t enough to keep us in the Champions League but we showed a lot of fight in that game, and we’re certainly going to need plenty of that tomorrow.
Spurs have been woeful lately, following up their 4-0 loss to Chelsea with a 3-1 home defeat to Benfica on Thursday night but we all know form goes out the window in NLD’s. But the two extra days rest we’ve enjoyed will hopefully prove important on Sunday.
Obviously the big news this week was the injury to Mesut Ozil with the German now facing between three and six weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. He picked up the problem during the first 2 minutes of the game against Bayern and tried to play through the pain, and now unfortunately he’s going to miss a vital run of games.
We also received a blow with the news that Aaron Ramsey’s proposed comeback has been put on hold after he felt pain in his thigh this week. Arsene expects he’ll be out for another two weeks meaning he’s also set to miss the Chelsea game next week.
Kieran Gibbs is facing a late fitness test but thankfully Nacho Monreal has been passed fit so can start at left-back if Gibbsy doesn’t make it, while Yaya Sanogo could be back on the bench.
January loan signing Kim Kallstrom could be on the bench for the first time after recovering from a back injury, but Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott remain out.
The big decision for Arsene is who to start in midfield and while I suspect he’ll go with the Arteta-Flamini combination, I’d prefer to see Mikel miss out. His lack of pace is becoming a problem, particularly in the big high intensity games, so my preference would be for The Ox to keep his place and start alongside Mathieu Flamini in the middle.
Derbies are made for players like Flamini, but he’ll have to curb his enthusiasm at times to prevent him picking up needless bookings. In attack I’d like to see Rosicky, Cazorla and Podolski start behind Giroud.
We haven’t had a great record at the Lane in recent years, only winning once in ten visits in the league, but Sp*rs are in a mess right now so we wont have many better opportunities to put one over them. I’m backing the boys to pick up a vital three points tomorrow.
Sp*rs 1-3 Arsenal COYG!!!!
What are your thought ahead of the game? Are you confident we’ll win?