Forget about winning the Champions League. Forget about winning the Premier League.
All that matters right now is that we go to Hull City tomorrow night and pick up three points.
There’s been a bit of bad blood in this fixture over the past couple of years and with us fighting for the league and Hull desperate to avoid relegation I don’t expect anything different. This will be a fierce, physical encounter where the odd goal might be all that separates two teams of vastly contrasting quality.
Our boys go into this one a little bit understrength with Cesc Fabregas and a host of others unavailable. Alex Song serves the second game of a rather ridiculous suspension while William Gallas and the long-termers are also out and Tomas Rosicky is a doubt for a so far unnamed injury. We can only hope it doesn’t turn out to be another two-year problem.
Of the players that are available I expect the same back five that played against Porto to start, particularly given the rather straightforward efforts that were required in midweek. There are no travel issues so I see no reason why any of them should be given a rest, including Sol Campbell.
Further afield Denilson will come into the side for Song with support coming from Abou Diaby and Samir Nasri.
Nasri took on the Fabregas role midweek and performed superbly while Diaby showed yet again why he has gone from scary own-goal scoring dingleberry to one of the most constructive midfielders in the Premier League. I have absolutely no doubt about the pair’s ability to take on the responsibility of driving our attack from the midfield and am really looking forward to watching them play.
The front three will likely be Andrey Arshavin, Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott, with Emmanuel Eboue providing the punch off the bench. An alternative to that setup could see Eboue start on the left and Arshavin be given a rest after his midweek performance, however my advice to the manager would be to play the in-form Russian and sub him off early if the job gets done.
Another player I am keenly looking forward to watching is Bendtner. Woeful finishing against Burnley was followed by a hat-trick against Porto and it’s anyone’s guess as to what he will come up with tomorrow. My prediction would be at least one goal to continue his charge towards the 10 I have predicted he will score before the end of the season. Maybe he’ll score six tomorrow?
I can’t really be bothered going into Hull’s strength and weaknesses because the simple fact is that if we turn up tomorrow and play well we will probably win.
Here’s to three points and the other two dropping some points.
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