Arsenal vs Braga preview: Finally, Europe! Plus favourite line-up
Written by Chris on September 14, 2010 21:00
I don’t know if you feel the same, but I personally find the Champions League as one of the most fascinating events in sports. The theme song, even if just to introduce the draw of the Group stages, is something which gets my blood pumping and let’s face it, the football never disappoints.
I’ll be honest, if you ask me whether we have more chances of winning the English Premiership or the Champions League, I would say winning the title is a more realistic target although you know, we impressed in the past in this competition and also it seems we now have the right balance to compete in all competitions. For sure, is that getting past the likes of Barcelona, Inter Milan and others will be very, very difficult.
No longer a surprise, we of course face injury problems for the game. Robin and Theo – two very important players as Alex Song said last week – are still out injured and they are now joined by Abou Diaby who according to Arsene doesn’t know for how long he’ll be on the sidelines. It’s a shame, it seems Abou always suffers minor or major problems which always halt his development, let’s hope it’s not long term.
The Arsenalistas. Now that sounds funny, doesn’t it? According to the club’s official website, ours that is, a trip to Highbury is the reason behind this name so in a way, there’s a link between the two Clubs. Again, you have to accept my apologies as I know nothing on our opponents and I’m too lazy to research information which let’s face it, can easily be found by anyone.
So off to the favourite line-up, shall we?
With Thomas Vermaelen out injured, we should expect the same central partnership we saw last Saturday against Bolton. I was very close to put Lukasz in goal, but maybe this game will not be as easy as one could think so let’s stick with Manuel. At least for now. Kieran and Emmanuel should start again on the wings.
In midfield, I want to give Denilson a chance. Many were “impressed” by what they saw against Owen Coyle’s side. I was not. It will take more than 20 minutes against a demoralised 10-men Bolton for me to put the Brasilian on the same level of others, such as Alex Song. For sure is that he will know that his place is no longer guaranteed, especially with Jack Wilshere doing so well in our first games of the season.
Up front, I would rest Andrey. If there is a game where he can be rested, I believe this could be the one. Samir was ready to be involved against Bolton but had to delay his comeback so I believe he is fit enough to start tomorrow. And then Carlos Vela. It’s time to stop giving the Mexican only ten minutes without ever rewarding his efforts with a regular start.
In today’s press conference, Arsene confirmed our objective is to win something, reason why he always selects his squads to win. Most likely he will utilise last Saturday’s rested players like Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna but as always, the above line-up is my favourite, not necessary the one I predict Arsene will use.
It’s not really possible [to prioritise], no.
We go to Sunderland three days later and that’s as big a game for us as our game against Braga tomorrow. It’s vital.
We want to win something, no matter what it is – Champions League or championship.
On Saturday, I selected a team just to beat Bolton. I rotated some players who had played in their national teams, but it wasn’t looking to Braga.
Braga manager Domingos Paciência promised his side will play a big game tomorrow at the Emirates. He admitted they will be underdogs but his players will stick to their principles and make sure to make the difference.
The Gunning Hawk Coverage
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And of course, don’t forget you’re still in time to pick your preferred team for this game. And when the final whistle blows, don’t forget to rate the players, comment on their performances and share your personal ratings with your friends. All this and more, available at http://www.arsenal-interactive.com.