Manchester United V Arsenal – First leg: The big one is here

In Arsenal FC, Champions League 2008/09 on April 29, 2009 by Highbury N5 Editor

Right, breaking news here!! I understand that the large yellow object parked on the Nou Camp turf last night, rumoured to be a football team bus, has finally moved.

What a brilliant advert for English football!!!

Onto the big stuff then, Arsenal v Manchester United, a Champions League final at Rome at stake.

The team news in full: Silvestre and Kieran Gibbs are doubts with knocks picked up at the weekend and if we lose Gibbs from the line up it would be a massive loss, Silvestre on the other hand, I couldn’t really give a toss about. If Gibbs doesn’t make it we will certainly see Eboue at RB and Sagna at LB with Djourou and Toure in the middle of defence. Djourou is probably a cert to start. He had better be anyway.

In the midfield Song, Fabregas and Walcott are what I would consider the players that are undroppable at the moment, especially for a game of this magnitude. It is possible we will see Nasri and Song operating further back with Diaby and Walcott out wide, Cesc slotting into the hole and Adebayor ploughing a lone furrow up front. Boy do we need a performance from him tonight.

Wenger has said we are going to go for it at Old Trafford but I’m not so sure. If Wenger was offered a 0-0 he may just take it considering our record over Man United at the Grove, the first 20-30 minutes may well be slow with both teams and managers sizing each other up and seeing what both sets of players have to offer, then again, would you rule out an early goal? I wouldn’t.

An away goal would be brilliant and you feel that if United score we have to get that away goal to give us much of a chance at the Grove, an away goal at this stage of the competition is vital and would force United onto the offensive in the return fixture, if we don’t get the away goal they can sit back at the Grove.

Their defence has been slightly leaky of late, ever since that brilliant run of clean sheets they put together. Adebayor has been a thorn in United’s side on more than one occasion and sounds confident of scoring against them, a goal tonight and I can tell you, nobody will be remembering his summer antics. The partnership between him and Fabregas is one of the keys to us getting through this tie and after Fabregas’ fantastic performance at the weekend you would expect Adebayor to follow suit and show his undoubted class. I am not aware if Eduardo is in the traveling squad or not, if he is we may see him at some stage if we are looking for a goal. Lets hope that we do not concede first. You sense we have to seize the initiative and play the game at our pace and take any chances we get. Vidic and Ferdinand are a very good defensive partnership but they are breakable. Liverpool had the best home record (conceding) in the Premiership but we (or Arshavin), still put four goals past them.

I am so, so, so excited about this. We have been waiting for this game for a long time, lets hope its worth the wait because a win tonight could be one of the clubs all time greatest results. I said before the FA Cup semi that it was the biggest game since the CL final in Paris.

Scratch that.

This game is the biggest we have had since then, by a country mile.

There have been a few attempts to unsettle the team, namely from the Daily Mail speculating about Arshavin’s future but over at Gooner Talk they have spoken to Dennis Lachter who has confirmed that it is all total and utter bollocks. From now until Saturday I will be working on that site, updating it with all the news so keep tuned over there, and on here of course!

Right, the time is here. Lets enjoy it and cheer the boys on tonight, wherever you are.


’til tomorrow.

2 Responses to “Manchester United V Arsenal – First leg: The big one is here”

  1. two words: can’t. wait.

  2. My body’s all tensed up. cant believe this.

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