Friday, 22 August 2008

Take Your Chances Arsenal

Gut Feeling: After three important points on the opening day of the season with a slow stuttering performance I have a feeling that Arsenal will put on a show against Fulham. I think they will keep a clean sheet and win by two or three goals.

What Arsenal Need: As with every game, Arsenal need three points and no injuries, but apart from that I think that most Gooners will be looking for a performance worth talking about.

Hope for the Match: I'd like to see Arsenal breaking with pace when they gain possession of the ball, instead of the often slow build ups they prefer. I just think back to the invincibles and recall so many goals scored from lightning counter-attacks, where three or four players sprint like their lives depend on it to be part of the attack.

Hopes For The Rest of the Transfer Window: Wenger still needs to by a replacement for Flamini and after watching the Swiss friendly this week it looks more likely that it will be Gokhan Inler. A signing most would applaud.

I called for Wenger to make a Harry Redknap type signing of an old school Keown-style centre half after the West Brom game and my wish came true. I didn't expect it to be Silvestre, but he ticks all the boxes... Premiership and Champions League experience, vocal, versatile and good against long balls.

Team Selection: Nasri has recovered from his injury and will feature against Fulham, which is a God send as he provides much needed creativity. Fabregas is still recovering from his injury and summer exploits but he may feature against FC Twente.

Amidst all the speculation that the Silvestre signing would automatically cause Djourou to be sent out on loan, I'd actually start the young Swiss defender on Saturday. He deserves to retain his place and I'd leave Toure on the bench. I honestly believe that Djourou could be a star for Arsenal in the coming years.

Surely Song can't be in the starting lineup, after his return from China? But suddenly it looks like we have lots of depth at centre half with Gallas, Toure, Djourou, Senderos, Song and Silvestre providing lost of choices for Wenger.

I'm not sure why Wenger started Bendtner over van Persie against West Brom but I truly hope to see the Dutchman line up alongside Adebayor at kick-off. Until Wenger buys a ready made defensive midfielder he'll have to choose between Eboue, Ramsay and perhaps Song to partner Denilson in moidfield.

I heard a rumour that Vela got injured whilst away with Mexico but Arsenal haven't confirmed it, so we'll wait and see.

Team selection for this game:

van Persie, Adebayor

Nasri, Denilson, Eboue, Walcott

Clichy, Gallas, Djourou, Sagna


Subs: Fabianski, Silvestre, Song, Toure, Wilshere, Vela, Bendtner

Unavailable: Rosicky, Eduardo, Fabregas, Diaby, Senderos, Toure

Prediction: Fulham 0 Arsenal 3