Itâ€™s interesting reading some of the Arsenal web-sites today, where a lot of them are rather cautious about the game at Newcastle United tonight. At least three of the sites are saying this game will not be as easy as it looks.
Thatâ€™s probably because Newcastle desperately need a result and while we have some good players they have never really all played well together, and maybe, just maybe, tonight is the time for them to come together.
On form thereâ€™s no question that Arsenal should get all 3 points.
Arsenalâ€™s injury problems are similar to what they were at Aston Villa. But two players that played in that game are out. Hleb and Flamini will not play tonight, and while that may be good news for Newcastle fans, the players they will draft in will be nearly as good. So weâ€™re not sure you gain too much with their stars out injured. Remember we were also well beaten 2-0 at the Emirates in late September by their second string, in the Carling Cup.
If Arsenal have a weakness it has to be with their goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, who has looked a little weak and unsteady on more than one occasion this season. We would also hope that Senderos gets a game, because we think Oba Martinsâ€™ speed could be a problem for him.
On the Newcastle side of things, it looks like Carr, Faye and Cacapa will not make the game. But we really hope that Steven Taylor can play and take his place at right back. Steven has been playing well recently and it will allow Beye, who has also been in good form recently, to take his place in central defense. We also hope Big Sam will pick a team where players play in their normal positions and again ask that Milner starts on the right wing and Nâ€™Zogbia on the left. That will allow young Enrique to take his place at left back. So we expect something like this team tonight:
Taylor Beye Rozehnal Enrique
Milner Geremi Barton Nâ€™Zogbia
Subs: Harper, Edgar, Emre, Smith, Butt
It could be that Butt plays in place of Geremi, and we think as usual that Big Sam will find a place somewhere for Alan Smith, maybe even in defensive midfield. But we donâ€™t want to see a team with too many central midfielders in the side and some of them playing on the wings. Sam has proved many times that just doesnâ€™t work and we havenâ€™t seen Milner and Nâ€™Zogbia out on the wings nearly enough this season. They will be a threat to any side.
Thereâ€™s no doubt this could be a very difficult game for the Magpies. But after the debacles against Portsmouth and Liverpool at St. James’ Park, we expect a hugely improved performance tonight. We desperately need some kind of a result and while a win would be fantastic, weâ€™d gladly settle for a draw. We can build on that by hammering Birmingham on Saturday. 😀
What do you think? Can we get a result tonight. Please let us know.
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