Chelsea vs Arsenal preview: The real test is upon us. Plus favourite line-up
Written by Chris on October 29, 2011 4:30
Arsenal travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea knowing that so far they lost all big games, in the English Premier League.
Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, it’s impossible to look ahead of today’s game without indeed going back to these three games and wondering how long it will take us to finally win a “big” game in the English Premier League, to show that we are still a big Club with a big squad and with big objectives.
I think the question many are asking before the game is whether we would go back to square one if we lose at Stamford Bridge, a game that Arsene described as the one to show whether we deserve to fight for top places in the domestic league.
Personally, I would say no. It’s a tricky question but this is ultimately a big game, with two big teams and away from home, a game that we would have approached as underdogs even had we won all the games so far this season.
Make no mistake, our terrible start to the season forces us to go to Stamford Bridge with one objective, to win, and incidentally I am convinced that this one could go either way, but let’s indeed not forget that the Blues are yet to lose at home this season – winning all games – and should not be underestimated, even though they will miss key players.
For sure is that we approach the game with optimism, confidence and key players firing on all cylinders. Robin van Persie, Gervinho and Andrey Arshavin are all in top form, especially the Russian as I feel that now that Russia have qualified for Euro 2012 he will be a complete different player and a big, big asset for Arsenal in midfield.
It may sound funny, but this is the first time I look at my favourite line-up this season and see no weaknesses, the first time I look at the players we have available and think that we can go out there and indeed aim for a win, against Chelsea, against anyone so let’s go Gunners, prove your boss right, show us we deserve to fight for top places, show us you mean business!
As always, my favourite line-up is below. Remember you can submit your own at Arsenal Interactive and then share it on Twitter and Facebook.
Fair enough, maybe the question many are asking ahead of today’s game is not the one in my introduction but whether Thomas Vermaelen should be in the starting line-up or not.
I must admit that choosing players was a tricky job last night. Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker have done well in central defence lately but would you honestly trust Johan Djourou, on the right, against the pace and technique of Chelsea? Same question for Andre Santos, who make no mistake, is improving at a nice pace, but may struggle for the full 90 minutes.
So I honestly believe that we should play it safe and use our best players so as to have no regrets at the end of the game. Start Thomas on the left, he may not be 100% fit but he is hungry to play, Per and Johan in central defence and Laurent on the right. In midfield, the only dilemma is Aaron or Tomas, I would opt for the latter for experience.
In the offensive department, it is clear there is no space for Theo Walcott considering his form so Andrey on the left, Gervinho on the right and Robin as the lonely man up front looks to be the best possible setup for tomorrow.
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.