Arsenal vs Standard Liege preview: Denilson, Eboue and Arshavin should all start tonight

It’s Standard Liege in the Champions League tonight with top spot and a place in the second round of the competition at stake.

The manager will want his players focused on this game rather than the one against Chelsea yet his line-up will undoubtedly take into account his plan for the weekend. Arsene Wenger will want his best side on the pitch from the start against Chelsea and with this game coming just three days after Sunderland and an international break before that, there is sure to be some rotation from the side that lost on Saturday.

Bacary Sagna will surely be given a break after three games in a short space of time with Emmanuel Eboue the obvious replacement. Kieran Gibbs will travel with the squad and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him slot in for Armand Traore at left-back after the Frenchman’s rusty display against Sunderland.

While the manager will be reluctant to break up the central-defensive partnership despite William Gallas’ possible need for a rest, I can see a changes in the centre of the park. I have a feeling Denilson might slot in for Alex Song to give the Cameroon man preparation time for the massive test at Chelsea while Samir Nasri may be pulled back into the middle in place of Aaron Ramsey, who could possibly use a break from the spotlight. Conversely the manager might see Liege as the perfect opportunity for Ramsey to get his confidence back after the weekend and prepare him for Chelsea on Sunday.

Up front Eduardo should be given another opportunity to find his shooting boots with support coming from Andrey Arshavin on the left and Tomas Rosicky on the right. Theo Walcott or Carlos Vela may also feature in a forward line that lacks height and physical power but has an abundance of energy and creativity.

Wenger will want to see an improvement in the final third after the laboured performance on Saturday. Nasri, Rosicky and Ramsey all disappointed against Sunderland and if given the chance to play against Liege, must do better. Likewise Eduardo needs to give us a reminder of what he can do as a striker and the defence could do with a clean sheet, something they really should have got on the weekend.

While one eye will be firmly on Chelsea this weekend the boys need to get a win tomorrow to improve the morale in the squad as much as qualify for the next round. Their was a real lack of movement and energy against Sunderland the team needs to instill some confidence in themselves and the supporters that they can create and take chances without Robin van Persie in the team.

I’ll be watching this one live at 5.45am (local time) on ESPN in Australia and will be expecting a marked improvement from the weekend. Come on Arsenal!

PS. For those copping stick from your mates about Spurs insane 9-1 win over Wigan yesterday be sure to check out this link for a laugh. Absolutely pathetic, hah.

PPS. A very quick reminder today that if you love reading the Arsenal FC Blog you can subscribe for FREE to receive daily updates here. Also, if you’re a Facebook user join the Arsenal FC Blog Fan Page here or add me as a friend here. Cheers.

Have your say on Arsenal’s game with Standard Liege by leaving a comment.

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19 Responses to “Arsenal vs Standard Liege preview: Denilson, Eboue and Arshavin should all start tonight”

  1. Ricky
    November 24, 2009 at 6:58 pm #

    Who should wenger sign in january ?

  2. Ricky
    November 24, 2009 at 7:04 pm #

    vito mannone..should come in for aluminium….not that it makes a difference…aluminim will be fresh for the chelsea game

  3. senior citizen
    November 24, 2009 at 8:34 pm #

    How I wish Wenger should consider starting Denilson rather than Ramsay.
    A point anyway is what we need.

    There is this thing of Arsenal losing to chelsea by a wide goal margin here in Ugandan man.u fans.

    More focus should be paid to the game on sunday though.

  4. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    November 24, 2009 at 9:19 pm #

    Quiet tonight. Everyone is preparing for the game?

  5. Arnsam
    November 24, 2009 at 9:39 pm #

    When talking about players that need a rest, i think almunia needs a season long rest…after all we are better off with out him. 3clean sheets out of his first 4 competitive games mannone deserves first a choice place @arsenal even carlos vela should b given more time to play and in the right position.

  6. nevergoonergiveup
    November 24, 2009 at 9:44 pm #

    You’re right Andy. We need a win and a good disciplined display this evening as a morale boost more than anything.

    Our slip at the weekend could have an unexpected positive side: Chelsea do have an arrogant streak which may cause them to underestimate us.

    Anyway, all the best to the boys for this evening. Come on Arsenal!!

  7. sam
    November 24, 2009 at 9:56 pm #

    HA HA Check this out:

    Arsene Wenger: F*** the World Cup, my players should only care about Arsenal

    Arsene Wenger has launched an astonishing four-letter blast at his Arsenal players and warned them to forget about next summer’s World Cup.

    The Arsenal boss reacted to questions about this season being a big one for winger Theo Walcott, who is vying for a place on the right of midfield with David Beckham, Shaun Wright-Phillips and in-form Aaron Lennon.

    Lennon was magnificent in Tottenham’s 9-1 destruction of Wigan on Sunday. But Wenger dismissed the whole issue and raged: “Why should I not be frustrated?

    “For f***’s sake, the World Cup is in June. Is he on holiday until the eleventh of June? You cannot be serious.

    “He’s paid by Arsenal football club every week to perform. And well paid. Why should I today worry for what will happen on June 11 at the World Cup? He doesn’t even know if he will go to the World Cup.

    “Let’s do well for Arsenal. You are paid by Arsenal FC, not by the World Cup. During the World Cup he will be paid by Arsenal FC.”

    The Gunners manager is still smarting over Saturday’s shock loss at Sunderland and has demanded a reaction from his men in tonight’s Champions League clash against Standard Liege.

    He said: “A guy who has a poor season has a poor World Cup. It’s as mathematical as that. A guy who wins with his club goes to the World Cup and has a good chance to win.

    “But the players are not afraid of you if you do f*** all during the season.

    “You have no respect from the [international] manager if you don’t do anything at your club. You have more chance of being on the bench rather than playing.

    “The only experience I have of players who won the World Cup is Vieira and Petit. They won the Championship, they won the FA Cup, they went to the World Cup and they won the World Cup.

    “To think that some people think that the players can be within themselves and then turn up at the World Cup. Sport at the top level doesn’t work like that. Sport at the top level is more complicated than that.”
    http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Arsene-Wenger-F-the-World-Cup-my-players-should-only-care-about-Arsenal-article230531.html

  8. shambogunner
    November 24, 2009 at 9:57 pm #

    tonight should be a formality but i would like to see a clean sheet before the big 1 this weekend…its something we are not good at and need to improve if we are to win anything this season.i honestly believe if we dont win this weekend our title hopes are gone as wev yet to play liverpool and villa so far whereas utd and chels hav and will pick up more points before the turn
    as regards the whole almunia thing it wud be harsh to find fault in him on sat…but it doesnt hav to be a fumble or rush of blood out of the area to be a goalkeeping error,indecision or lack of presence can be as costly.bottom line is we cant keep losing and drawing games like the city and sunderland ones where wev conceded as many goals as shots on target,its not top four standard,in fact its not top ten standard

  9. Omecha
    November 24, 2009 at 9:57 pm #

    Gays, it was indeed disappointing to watch arsenal against Sunderland but to me it is not the question of lack of good players but instead it is lack of self esteem and winning attitude of our players. I would want to see the players show the hunger to win in the forth coming matches. A win tonight will give a good inspiration for the match against Chelsea.

  10. sam
    November 24, 2009 at 9:57 pm #

    oned down a bit for Arsenal.com…..

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/-my-players-cannot-think-about-world-cup-

    By Nick Teale

    Arsène Wenger has insisted that for his players this season is about achieving success with Arsenal, not earning a place at the World Cup.
    During a press conference at Arsenal’s Training Ground on Monday, one journalist suggested that the current campaign is a crucial one for Theo Walcott because, at its conclusion, England manager Fabio Capello will choose his squad for South Africa.
    The reporter did not reach the end of his question.
    “I must stop you there,” interrupted Wenger. “The big season is with Arsenal, not at the World Cup.
    “We do not pay players to go to the World Cup – we pay the players to do well for Arsenal.
    “The first pride of a man is to do well for the guy who pays you in life, not to go to the World Cup.”

  11. shambogunner
    November 24, 2009 at 10:02 pm #

    @nevergoonergiveup,
    am sorry mate but if theres any1 in the PL that has an arrogant streak im afraid to say that its us,when we lose games its always lacklustre against lesser opposition where you can see the boys lack the sharpness and at times it looks like their takin the piss and tryin to walk it in

  12. Ianinja
    November 25, 2009 at 2:20 am #

    hmmm I never thought Chelsea had an arrogant streak, they have a winning streak or shall I say it a winner’s mentality never say die attitude? They are brutally efficient when disposing of opposing teams but of course it doesn’t mean they are unbeatable.

    I believe we can get a result at home if everyone give it more than 120%, even if the worse case scenario they score first I hope the boys wont lose morale so easily, I believe Cesc and co can do it. They have to, its an important marker where they stand against another team of the so called big four, now five six…

    ps: by the way that spurs link is hilarious. Spurs will be spurs, spuds, spunks…ah whatever they are just spurs

  13. radads
    November 25, 2009 at 2:58 am #

    Good post Andy!!! Both, Nasri, Rosicky, and DUdu should all start tonight, to compensate what they have done last saturday, im sure they would start stronger tonite and they deserve to be given more games cos they are all great players.If they dont do it 1st half then Arsha, Walcott and Song shoud come in just after the half time break.Thats how I would do it cos we need those players to be fully fit and gain their confidence back.Not playing one of them tonight would affect their confidence and performance in future.

  14. goonerboy
    November 25, 2009 at 3:26 am #

    http://tottenhamhotspur.blogspot.com/

    look at this shit

  15. goonerboy
    November 25, 2009 at 3:27 am #

    i dont know why spurs blogs always care abt Arsenal players

  16. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    November 25, 2009 at 6:50 am #

    2-0 up at half-time thanks to goals by Nasri and… Denilson! Hahah.

    Gallas has been subbed after stumbling around like a groggy Caribbean pirate after a head clash with Arshavin, but other than that it’s smooth sailing thus far.

  17. shambogunner
    November 25, 2009 at 8:41 am #

    song was outstanding,and thank god he was because we conceded ball so cheaply at times,vela dissapointed and didnt grasp his chance to impress,denilson was also very good,cesc and arsha just did their thing while nasri just cruised thru without hittin top gear…hopefully gallas wil return quickly because sylvestre once again proved hes an accident waitin to happen and we already hav one of those in our backline
    lots of possession,shots on target and nice build up but they hit the woodwork twice and had a stonewall pen turned away at 1-0 so im still worried bout our concentration
    you cant emphasise enough how much of a loss song wil be durin acn…lets hope he gives us more of the same before he leaves

  18. Preencemeka
    November 25, 2009 at 10:17 am #

    Gibbs out for about 3 months. Quite painful

  19. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    November 25, 2009 at 10:25 am #

    @ Preenscemeka – Yep. Injured with 15 seconds to go after a ridiculous short corner by Arshavin. Devastating.

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