Saturday, 18 September 2010

Sunderland preview, Wilshere, Chamakh, Bendtner

Morning Gooners.

We're back to playing Premier League football with a late kick of at Sunderland this afternoon. Many blogs are suggesting it will be another test of our Premier League credentials, and whilst they are right it will be a test, in some ways I think they're waiting for this team to fall down.

Is this because they have no faith in them? Or are some fans subconsciously putting these barriers up preparing ourselves for defeat? Of course there are the fans who will trot out the line 'I told you so' if we do lose.

At the Stadium of Light last season we put in an abject performance and lost 1-0. This year I expect things to be different.

We've beaten Bolton and Blackburn, so why can't we go Wearside and win?

There form isn't as good as ours, one win (Manchester City), two draws (Birmingham and Wigan) and one defeat (West Brom), compared with three wins and a draw.

But as I mentioned on a previous blog, I think this is our toughest match of the week. The last two were at home and we should be winning all our home games.

But away to Sunderland, who are a good team, they will give us a run for our money. Steve Bruce has proved to be a good manager at Birmingham and Wigan. He's had some money to spend at Sunderland and has got a good group of players. I would expect them to be wanting to target a European spot this season.

Team news is that we're still without Abou Diaby and Thomas Vermaelen. There were no fresh injuries against Braga on Wednesday.

Almunia will continue in goal, with I expect an unchanged defence in front of him of Sagna, Squillaci, Koscielny and Clichy.

In midfield, I would have expected Diaby to play in this game but as he is injured I think we may bring in Denilson alongside Song and Fabregas.

Up front, I'm expecting the boss to recall Tomas Rosicky alongside Marouane Chamakh.

So two changes from the Braga game for me. Denilson and Rosicky to replace Wilshere and Nasri.

Almunia

Sagna - Squillaci - Koscielny - Clichy

Fabregas - Song - Denilson

Rosicky - Chamakh - Arshavin


Elsewhere this morning Marouane Chamakh talks to the Daily Mail about his career in football and how he's got a qualification in accountancy.

He says of his time at Arsenal: 
"They've all given me a brilliant welcome, the atmosphere is great and so is the football. I feel we can have real success together."
Jack Wilshere has given an interview to several of the papers today. A good piece by Dominic Fifield in The Guardian and John Cross in the Daily Mirror.

Nicklas Bentner says his groin injury isn't going to force him to retire.

More rubbish from Harry Redknapp about tackling along with David Moyes.

And finally Stoke City are going to complain to the Premier League about Arsene Wenger because of what he said about their style of play and that poor "victim" Ryan Shawcross.

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