Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Arsene will make two changes: Wilshere and Fabregas to start

Tonight's game is by no means a defining match in our season. We can win, lose or draw and it will make no impact on our ulimate aim of winning the Carling Cup.

So I cannot see Arsene Wenger taking huge risks with his team selection. That said I do believe he will go to Portland Road with the intention of winning the game so to make the second leg an exhibition match at the Grove.

The injury to Sebastien Squillaci causes his biggest headache. I would have thought he would have wanted to rest Johan Djourou for tonight's game with West Ham coming up in the league at the weekend.

I believe he still will. However the question remains who will be the Frenchman's centre back pairing tonight.

Laurent Koscielny wasn't involved in the squad last weekend, so I imagine he will return tonight and play from the start.

There are two possible players who could partner him if Djourou is indeed rested. They are Alex Song or reserve team captain Ignasi Miquel.

I cannot see Miquel handed a start in such an important game. Although he would stand up well in terms of height, he's 6'3", with Connor Wickham who is 6'4", I believe the Englishman would be better prepared due to his game time. Miquel is yet to make a professional start for the first team and hasn't yet been involved as a substitute, so expecting him to start tonight would be optimistic on Wenger's part.

Miquel is a talent and will make first team appearances for the club, but I don't believe the 19 year-old is ready yet.

With Song moving into defence, I expect Jack Wilshere to be handed an immediate recall. Aaron Ramsey could be an option, but I believe Arsene Wenger will want to slowly reintroduce the Welshman and cannot see him being used from the start tonight.

I believe there will be one change from the attacking three which started on Saturday. I think the manager will also recall Cesc Fabregas to the team in place of Andrey Arshavin.

I would see Nicklas Bendtner remaining on the right, Fabregas coming into the middle and Tomas Rosicky shifting to the right.

That would leave Marouane Chamakh to play at the top of our attack.

My Arsenal team for tonight would be:


Eboue - Koscielny - Song - Gibbs

Denilson - Wilshere

Bendtner - Fabregas - Rosicky


Subs: Fabianski, Miquel, Clichy, Ramsey, Walcott, Vela, Van Persie.

I'll post the team once it's announced. Come on you Gooners!!!

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