Arsenal vs Tottenham
Kick off: January 4, 2014 5:15 PM GMT
The upcoming match against arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur is easily the most high profile fixture in this round of the FA Cup and certainly one the players will not want to lose. Despite the fact the FA Cup is very likely to be lower on Wenger’s priority list, the Frenchman has stated that Arsenal will treat the match as a league game, no doubt due to the lengthy nine day break his players will get afterwards. Good news for Gooners.
On the injury front there has been some encouraging news in the longer term, but in terms of the Tottenham match it is likely we will see some notable absentees. Gibbs is absent with a calf injury and while Giroud’s ankle problem is looking positive, due to illness he has been effectively ruled out of the tie. Ozil has a greater chance of getting into the team, but Wenger has stated he feels the German will come up just short.
The starting eleven itself is pretty hard to predict. There has been talk of Ozil taking up the false-nine position (if fit), much like he has done for the German national team. It is more than likely though that Podolski or Walcott will get the opportunity up front. The remaining midfield selection depends on Ozil’s fitness, but I am hopeful that Flamini gets the nod. You know he isn’t going to mess around in a match of this calibre. At the back, Nacho Monreal is the obvious choice to replace the injured Gibbs. Monreal has interchanged seamlessly with the Englishman when given the chance so expect no drop in quality from the Spanish international.
Looking at Tottenham, it would be fair to say that they have had a change of form since the sacking of Andre Villas Boas. New manager Tim Sherwood has looked to have instilled a more expansive style of play, utilising a 4-4-2 formation and reinstating the out-of-favour Emmanuel Adebayor to the starting line-up. The Togolese striker has now scored four times in the last five games and looks to be a real threat. The same can be said about Christian Eriksen who is relishing the new style of play.
No matter what kind of competition, a match against the Spuds should always be taken seriously. In saying this however, Tottenham’s change in form coupled with a couple of key injuries in the Arsenal squad means that this match is likely to be close affair. Hopefully Arsenal can put the Spuds in their rightful place and continue their good run of form! COYG!
Arsenal: Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee), Sanogo (back), Diaby (knee), Giroud (ill), Gibbs (calf), Ozil (shoulder)
Tottenham: Vertonghen (ankle), Kaboul (thigh), Paulinho (ankle), Sandro (calf)
|ARSENAL – WWWDL||TOTTENHAM – WWDWL|
|Arsenal FC 2 – Cardiff 0||EPL||Manchester United 1 – Tottenham 2||EPL|
|Newcastle United 0 – Arsenal FC 1||EPL||Tottenham 3 – Stoke City 0||EPL|
|West Ham 1 – Arsenal FC 3||EPL||Tottenham 1 – West Bromwich Albion 1||EPL|
|Arsenal FC 0 – Chelsea FC 0||EPL||Southampton 2 – Tottenham 3||EPL|
|Manchester City 6 – Arsenal FC 3||EPL||Tottenham 1 – West Ham 2||CCUP|
Sagna Merts Verm (c) Monreal
Arsenal 2 Tottenham 0