Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Arshavin for Nasri is the only change Arsene Wenger will make

Arsenal go into their second game of the week with the knowledge that there will be no let up in their hectic fixture schedule anytime soon.

Everton are the visitors to the Grove tonight and nothing other than a win will be good enough.

It is vital that Arsene Wenger's team keep the presure on the two Manchester clubs.

There are six fixtures scheduled for this month, plus an international week. It will mean that rotation is vital in order that we can continue to fight for trophies in all four competitions.

The Premier League is obviously the manager's main priority. He has always tended to play his strongest 11 where ever possible.

I don't expect that to change tonight.

There are only slight tweaks to the squad which the Frenchman could make - mainly forced through injury to key players.

Samir Nasri is out with a hamstring injury. A scan was due to take place today, so expect the manager to give an update on his condition post match.

In Nasri's place I expect Andrey Arshavin to be recalled to the Premier League starting 11 for the first time since Arsenal's trip to Wigan at the end of December.

Arshavin has shown better form in recent weeks. He's worked harder for the team and against Ipswich provided two assists.

There is a doubt about the fitness of Bacray Sagna following his concussion in the Carling Cup semi final. If he is not 100% expect Emmanuel Eboue to retain his place in the side.

Johan Djourou will come back in for the suspended Sebastien Squillaci and Kieran Gibbs will be replaced by Gael Clichy.

The deep lying midfielders will be Alex Song and Jack Wilshere.

Whilst in the front four positions, I can only see the Nasri/Arshavin change, with Walcott, Fabregas and van Persie starting tonight.

My prediction for the line up is:


Sagna - Djourou - Koscielny - Clichy

Song - Wilshere

Walcott - Fabregas - Arshavin

van Persie

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

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