Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Arsenal - Porto Match Preview

Morning all. We've got the Champions League again tonight and I'm pretty excited about it. Not only is European competition great to watch but it gives us another chance to rebound from the defeat to Hull before we play in the league again. It's FC Port tonight, a Portuguese team known for producing great young talents such as Deco, Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, Maniche, Costinha, Benni McCarthy, Jose Bosingwa and Ricardo Quaresma, and won't be an easy match to say the least. However, if you follow the "10 points and you qualify" rule in the group stages, this is probably a match we need to win. At the moment Porto are 4th in the Portuguese league but they are undefeated and will definitely be looking to have a crack at the team after what happened to us on Saturday. Arsene Wenger stated how important this match was:

“In this Champions League group you know you go through with 10 points,” said Wenger.

“The calculation is quite easy. You win your three home games and you are through.

“In some groups you have two good teams and two weak teams. In this group you have four strong teams. That is why home form will be vital.”

He's right, we really do need to take all three points from this one. I'm hoping for a really good atmosphere at the Grove tonight to get all the players' spirits lifted and push them on to a good result.

Injury news is as follows: Samir Nasri is fit again, but Abou Diaby (he's been out forever hasn't he?), Eduardo, and Tomas Rosicky are all out. Alex Song has also been ruled out for this one. It will be nice to have Nasri back again because he provides creativity in the way that Cesc does but is also capable of a good long dribble or a powerful shot from distance, which is always a bonus. I think we've missed him in the side and while Theo has of course done well for us, he does need a rest sometimes too.

Speaking of resting, the boss has said he will rotate players for tonight's match. He says the changes are simply for resting players and not for punishment, but I think certain players probably could use the rest along with the punishment. He wouldn't really say which changes would be made to the eleven we had against Hull but I'd like to see Gallas get a rest, along with one of the strikers and maybe Denilson. The problem is who do you put in their place if you do sit them down. Striker is easy because we have Bendtner and Vela on the bench who are both of immense quality. Midfield could maybe be Aaron Ramsey, but we don't have many other options there. In defense we have Djourou and Silvestre, and I'd love to see how a Djourou/Toure partnership would do, but I doubt we'll see it. The boss really seems to hate "resting" Bill Gallas.

So even with the rotation I'll try to go out on a limb and pick the lineup here:


It's probably wrong but I think I would probably go with that if I was Arsene today. It'd be nice if Clichy or Sagna could ever get a rest but they never really can. I suppose Silvestre could cover at left back so maybe the boss should consider that one match. Seems like if anyone would need a rest it'd be those guys. They run the full 90 minutes every match.

This is Porto's 11th trip to England in their history. They have never won. We need that to continue. While they have lost maybe their best player, Ricardo Quaresma, to Inter Milan over the summer, they still have lots of quality, notably Lucho Gonzalez. It's going to be a tough match for sure, but one that we have the quality to win and need to show it.

My match prediction: 2-0 to the Arsenal. I think we'll have enough quality and the defense seems to do better with Djourou in there, so I think we'll be able to keep a clean sheet. Scorers are Adebayor and Nasri.

I'm excited for this one so let's go out and get three points! Cheers all!


Jamesgillesp said...

I'm really hoping we can bounce back from the crap that was Saturday's game.
I would like to see us really hit Porto hard - some explosive paassing moves needed!

Mike said...

I'll admit I questioned your prediction when I read it earlier today, but as I'm typing we are up 4-0 so if anything you weren't optimistic enough!

I've been very pleased with the performance. Theo is working harder than I've ever seen, and early on Cesc had some Cesc-type passes that we have been missing this season.

I loved the composure from Ade on our first goal, forcing the keeper to commit and then cutting back for RVP.

The finishing could have been better, but that is often the case for us. I won't complain about that with a 4-0 scoreline.

KiddCdog said...

Arsenole your a joke!!!!!!
1: i dont need to work! moneys no issue so yes i can live and breathe arsenal!
2. ur a stupid yank who has never even been to a real arsenal match in your life! yeas some fan you are! u peasant!
3. its fans like you who will drop a player everytime we lose and always look for someone else to blame! u were writing us off at the start of the season and ur voice started to change when we landed top of the table! yeah that shut u up! same as you did last season! sort ur shit out arsenole! u dont deserve the rights to post your views!
Stupid Fat Yank!


ArseNole said...

Yet you seem to keep coming back...actually since you say I was pessimistic I invite you to read the post "Why Arsenal Will Win The League This Year." You're a dumbass. Sorry not everyone is born in London.

Joaquin said...

god that guy is a twat. Ban his ip.

Anonymous said...

Early in 2007 the story was going around that Flamini (who we signed from Marseille in 2004) was fed up with the lack of starting opportunities he had at Arsenal. He was played in a lot of games, but mostly as a substitute.

Flamini didn’t leave at the end of 2006/7 of course, and went on to start in most games in 2007/8 - so he got what he wanted. Arsenal also played in the Euro Cup that season, and got into it again for 2008/9, as we all know.

Flamini then left, as we all also know. He left for a team that did not qualify for the Champions League. Which looked a bit odd.

Now we find he has left for a team that doesn’t include him in the starting line up either. He’s back to coming on as a substitute.

So there he was. Virtually guaranteed a place in the Arsenal starting XI. On the edge of creating one of the great EPL partnerships with Fabregas. Playing in the top competition. And he gives it all up to be a substitute, and play against the likes of the Tiny Totts in the Diddly Cup.

For some people the word “prat” seems just a perfect description. One might almost start beliving that all the chat on this web site about their being a “Curse of Arsenal” might perhaps, actually be true. Poor old Hleb out injured. That Mr Henry being kept out of the BarBarBarca-Sheep team by Eto’o and when he does play, being played on the wing. Mr Flamini not in the Euro Cup and not even in the team most of the time.

It is enough to make you cry your heart out.

Or not, as the case might be.