On paper today’s home clash with Burnley looks a cakewalk.
They are yet to win away from home, picking up just one point from fourteen away games this season, and currently have the worst away record this season. Meanwhile our home record is strong, our performances in the last couple of games has been good and we’re on a bit of a roll at the moment.
The injury to Aaron Ramsey will ensure that any complacency going into this game will be ironed out. The Arsenal boys know the media is on them at the moment and they will be waiting for anything to keep selling papers; a bad Arsenal tackle, a half-hearted physical performance. Anything.
It won’t happen though. Our team will be ready to send another message out to everyone that we are the team to beat, that we can cope with this sort of scrutiny and we deserve our billing as title contenders.
The early kick-off means a four-goal win would see us move to the top of the table, albeit briefly. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen. Honestly, I can see us scoring five or six.
Team news going into the game is mixed, Ramsey won’t be there, Alex Song misses out due to a two-game ban and Sol Campbell has surprisingly been ruled out. William Gallas will not return while Andrey Arshavin, Denilson and Abou Diaby will all be back in the squad.
The changes means Mikael Silvestre will slot in alongside Thomas Vermaelen at the back. The onus on attack may see Emmanuel Eboue play at right-back like he did against Sunderland, with Bacary Sagna benched.
Midfield will be Denilson, Cesc Fabregas and probably Abou Diaby, although the manager may see playing two just-returned players as being a little risky and draft in Tomas Rosicky or Samir Nasri to help out. Up front Nicklas Bendtner will be supported by two of Rosicky, Nasri, Arshavin, Eduardo or Theo Walcott.
I don’t expect us to take Burnley lightly and it is for that reason that I think we will beat them comprehensively.
I’m looking forward to it.
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