Arsenal vs Manchester City – Match Preview

  Writing this after the international fixtures, so far it seems we have come out of the other side with no fresh injuries.  William Gallas will be out until October so Philippe Senderos will step in.  Tomas Rosicky, Emmanuel Eboue and Abou Diaby are injured from the midfield with Gilberto still lacking match practice (or on the move?)  Up front there are no injuries it seems; in fact Adebayor should return from injury.  Denilson has also returned fully to the squad. Team selection will be very interesting for Saturday.  Starting at the back, who will take their place in goal?  Well, Jens Lehmann has dropped two clangers in two league games and had a dodgy night for Germany.  He looks short on confidence and with two able keepers in the wing I would like to see Wenger give them a chance.  He has talked about competition for the no.1 jersey; this is the time to prove this point.  This weekend we cannot afford any errors from whoever is selected between the sticks. Moving into the defence Philippe Senderos will step in for the absent skipper as already said.  This will help us dominate in the air but Touré will have to be ready on the cover as we know of Senderos’ lack of pace; especially when he has barely played recently.  The full backs will remain the same.  Hopefully Sagna can keep on showing us why he is a top signing by Mr Wenger.  Clichy has quietly been in good form and full backs will be needed when it comes to breaking down a defence that has kept three clean sheets in a row.  This will leave space in behind so Flamini – who I suspect will play Gilberto’s role – will have to be ready to fill in the space on the break. Across the rest of midfield the players fit for this game are: Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas, Denilson, and Alex Hleb.  Along with Flamini I would use Theo on the right of midfield.  He was disappointing away at Ewood Park last weekend but was very impressive for the U21s.  He was confident and went at players with directness Arsenal sometimes lacks.  With the home fans behind him I would back him to have a good game should he start.  On the other side Alex Hleb has also looked in good form.  Like Theo he had a poor game last Sunday but apart from that game he has really hit the ground running with 2 goals.  He causes problems for defenders with outstanding dribbling and the eye for a pass.  He is shooting more and shots will be required to break down City.  Any pussy-footing around will only get the players and fans frustrated.  The last position is simple.  Cesc Fabregas is our main man, he makes Arsenal tick.  He will be important at dictating tempo and bossing a competitive centre midfield. Eduardo Da Silva scored tonight and has looked good.  The Premiership seems to suit him.  He just needs games and fans will be behind him in his home debut.  He seems a good foil for Van Persie with the Dutchman playing a more withdrawn role.  Eduardo will make runs that will create space for Van Persie and Fabregas to find him, or leave an opportunity for the two to get shots off and test the young Kasper Schmeichel.   Adebayor is back and I feel he will make the bench and be used to change the game if needed.  All I know is he will give 100% when he gets on the pitch and this may be just the ingredient if we are struggling to break down Micah and co.  Nicklas Bendtner has looked useful when he has come on.  He offers something different.  He is simply a goal scorer.  He won’t work as hard as Adebayor but with the strong build will hassle defenders.   I would like to see him on the bench with his fellow striker.  At home two strikers is always useful, attack is the way forward on Saturday.  Along with these two Denilson will be the third sub, Song or Hoyte making up the 4 outfield players.  The sub keeper will be Lehmann or Almunia, the other taking the ‘keeper’s jersey for the match. My Arsenal team would be: ==============Almunia============== Sagna=====Touré=====Senderos=====Clichy Walcott====Flamini====Fabregas=====Hleb ========Van Persie====Eduardo========= Now to look at our opponents Manchester City more closely.  All the hype is about Micah Richards.  He was brilliant against United in the centre and he will be a tough opponent for Van Persie and Eduardo.  Dunne and Richards are the rock of the city team.  They help each other brilliantly and have worked out a real understanding.  Two young full backs will look to get forward which will leave us space but also give us a tough test at the back.  The midfield looks good with Elano and Petrov two good attacking players.  They may not want to help the defence too much so one eye must be on them when we attack.  The middle of the midfield could be the weakness of City.  With Michael Johnson still young Fabregas will look to dominate and play make from here.  Dietmar Hamann is getting on and quick passing will be very important to control the midfield.  They have Roberto Bianchi who will be a handful up front.  I would say Sven will go with two up front as he will not be shy, his team is top of the table and City has nothing to lose.  They could also pack the midfield as they did against United with Elano and Geovanni supporting the lone front man. Sven has them well organised and it will be hard to break them down.  It could be frustrating but an early goal from Arsenal would open the game up, one from City will see Arsenal fighting to come back once again at the Emirates. Last match versus Manchester United (h) – won 1-0 ===============Schmeichel===============Corluka==== Richards=========Dunne=====Garrido Geovanni ===Hamann====Johnson===Petrov===Elano====Bojinov (replaced after 8 minutes by Mpenza)====

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