I have a Portsmouth preview for you this fine Friday before I escape for the afternoon to enjoy some wines and the sweet sounds of the Arctic Monkeys latest album. It should be fookin’ bliss (sorry Mum).
There’s not much change in the way of injuries with only Eduardo returning. I actually had no idea the Crozilian was left out of the team against Celtic but Arsene Wenger has indicated he had slight groin problem that he has now overcome. As such he’ll be back in the squad against Pompey while Johan Djourou, Theo Walcott, Lukasz Fabianski, Samir Nasri and Tomas Rosicky still absent.
Pompey are definitely one of the weaker teams in the Premier League this season and as such I’d like to see some rotation of the side on Saturday. I’m not in any way taking the game for granted but with the Celtic tie in the bag and a very important contest with Manchester United looming large I feel the next two games are the perfect opportunity to give some of our players an early rest. If Eduardo is fit I’d like to see him start in place of Robin van Persie while Cesc Fabregas and Bacary Sagna – who both had minor niggles midweek – could also be given a rest for Abou Diaby and Emmanuel Eboue.
I think it would be wrong to rotate too much in one area of the pitch so replacing one forward, one midfielder and one defender would be the right move. A little more rotation could then be done against Celtic which would ensure the squad is perfectly prepared for United while still putting a quality line-up on the pitch in each game. I suspect the manager will make some changes – given the physical nature of the encounter at Parkhead – but as always we’ll have to wait and see.
I have a feeling that Saturday’s game at the Emirates could be a comfortable one for our boys. Portsmouth are yet to score a goal this season and their side and particularly their defence appears to be lacking in quality, something the likes of Andrey Arshavin and the other forwards should be looking to exploit. I want to repeat again that I’m not taking the match for granted but given the contrast in our start to the season with theirs I’d be very surprised to see anything other than an Arsenal win.
I’ll talk about any late team news on the blog in tomorrow’s post but in the meantime, enjoy your Friday and let’s hope the boys can put in another top performance.
Anyway, I’m off to have a drink. Cheers!
Have your say on Arsenal v Portsmouth by leaving a comment.