In Andrew Mangan’s voice from ArseCast – ‘Hello there, I hope you’re well’, if you aren’t never mind, the weekend will sure make you feel better. The Arsenal play today against newly promoted giant killers Cardiff City who have picked points from both Manchester clubs this season, but Arsenal are in some giant killing form of our own, comfortably dispatching Marseille in the Champions league and picking maximum points from a tough Southampton team last weekend.
The team has reacted very well after the United loss, it seemed everyone realized that game was a one-off and we really deserved to get a point from there so it has hardly affected our stride. Remember a few seasons ago when Arsenal would lose a game like United and then it would be certain we would lose a few more games afterwards as the team really didn’t have mental strength to pick themselves up. This team has more than a enough to recover from any loss as they look really like a massive unit and they trust their abilities to perform.
Cardiff were hard done in their last game by the referee after he didn’t deal appropriately with the Wayne Rooney situation in the seventh minute of the game and should have been sent off for lashing out at a City player, he went on to score in the game when he shouldn’t have been in it but when you play Cardiff you play a team that would not stop running and it showed when they got their late equalizer. It was the same attitude that saw them get promoted last season and pick up a few valuable points this season against quality opposition. 13points from 12 games is a decent return but they would need to be picking up more points to remain in this tough league though they might be helped by the abject form of Palace, Sunderland and West Ham.
Arsenal on the other hand go into this game knowing that we can’t afford to slip up, we have a four point lead now but it’s not that hard to see a four point lead thrown away. Games like this give you some margin for error later in the league, full points picked up today means a draw away against a title contender might not hurt that much, it’s that margin for error sometimes you need to win the league, we already gave up some of our margin when we dropped all the points against United. We don’t have any injury worries for this game and I suppose we might see some squad rotation from the manager with the midweek game in mind.
The league is a marathon and every player is going to have to play a part in it so it’s important the manager makes use of his squad as much as possible. Maybe we would see Walcott have his first start after his return from injury today and there are calls from some fans that Ozil be given a rest and Santi needs games to get back his full match sharpness. Flamini has served full match ban and whether he comes out with full sleeves or shredded sleeves today we know we can always rely on an excellent performance from him, however I am not a big fan of the Arteta, Flamini combination in the middle as it limits us going forward and most importantly moves Ramsey out of the position. Gibbs has recovered from illness and is fit for this encounter but with the performance of Nacho Monreal our left back seems to be pretty covered.
Prediction : Cardiff 0 – Arsenal 3
Should be a great game today and hopefully we can pick up our points early and have the whole weekend to laugh at our title challengers and Spurs. #COYG
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