Hello and a very good afternoon to you.
It’s Arsenal FC Weekly Podcast time again today but before that I have a very quick preview of today’s Champions League first-leg qualifier against Celtic in Glasgow.
In terms of team news things are not as good as they could be with Denilson, Bacary Sagna and Cesc Fabregas all facing fitness tests and only Abou Diaby returning. The manager’s comment that Fabregas is “much more” than a 50% chance of playing suggests that he will start however the likelihood of Denilson and Sagna appearing is virtually unknown.
With Diaby returning and Emmanuel Eboue a more-than-adequate replacement for Sagna we shouldn’t be hurt too much by the injuries, although if Fabregas is not passed fit then a midfield containing Alex Song, Aaron Ramsey and the aforementioned Diaby will have to step up.
Arsene Wenger has said he will play the strongest side available and I believe the strong intention from the manager and the team will be to go to Scotland and return with an away win. With the return leg scheduled just three days before a crunch test against Manchester United a win tonight would take a huge amount of pressure of the boys and allow Wenger to do some careful rotating against both Portsmouth on the weekend and Celtic in a week’s time. In saying that it’s not going to be an easy test to beat Celtic at Parkhead, a ground where they are notoriously strong and consistently get good results against more fancied opposition.
I feel that the brilliant weekend win will give the boys the shot in the arm required to go to Scotland and put in another good performance. We should aim to take the sting out of the crowd by keeping the ball and if the likes Song, Vermaelen and Gallas can assert themselves in the same physical manner that they did against Everton then I think our extra quality will see us get a win at Celtic.
I’ll be watching the game on SBS One in Australia (4.30am kick-off) and I’ll be cheering the boys on madly. Come on Arsenal!
Now, onto this week’s Arsenal FC Weekly. It’s a little bit of a different podcast today as Panda’s absence and no guest interviewee means I fly solo throughout. In saying that it should still be quite a good listen as I review the sensational 6-1 win over Everton and look ahead to the Celtic game. Enjoy!
As usual I’d love to hear your feedback and ideas and you can do so by leaving a comment on this post or by contacting me at arsenalfcweekly [at] arsenalfcblog [dot] com (just replace ‘at’ and ‘dot’ with the appropriate symbols).
Cheers, and here’s to a win in Scotland!
Have your say on the Celtic game or the Arsenal FC Weekly’s 5th podcast by leaving a comment.