Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Wenger to chose between Wilshere/Song/Diaby | Arshavin to start?


With Manchester United throwing Arsenal a title lifeline, Arsene Wenger's men need to ensure all three points are won tonight at White Hart Lane.

The Gunners have been in this position before, knowing that a victory will put them within four points of the Premier League leaders. But can they seize it this time round?

Arsene Wenger needs to put out a team who will dominate the game and create chances for in form Robin van Persie to score.

In recent matches Abou Diaby has impressed alongside Jack Wilshere. The Englishman hasn't been at his best since the international break in my opinion. Wilshere is, alongside Laurent Koscielny, the Arsenal player who has started the most amount of games this season so far this season. Perhaps the  amount of game time he's received in his debut season is catching up with him.

The manager has said with Alex Song back to full fitness he will rotate between Diaby, Wilshere and the Cameroon international for the two deep lying midfield spots.

But to my mind, it would be a mistake to drop Wilshere to the bench for this game. He knows how important winning the north London derby is to the fans and will give 100% for 90+ minutes.

With Song only involved for twenty minutes against Liverpool, I think it wouldn't be wise to play a player who is coming back from injury in a game of such importance.

For me Diaby has deserved his run in the team. He has played well and doesn't deserve to be dropped, so I would hope Wenger keeps with his current pairing of the Frenchman and Wilshere.

In the attacking three ahead of the deep lying pair, I think there could be a change on the wings. There is little doubt Theo Walcott will start on the right to ensure Gareth Bale is pegged back. However I feel Andrey Arshavin is in with a good shout to start on the left.

The Russian created more in the time he was on the pitch on Sunday than Samir Nasri did all game. The Frenchman hasn't looked himself since January and perhaps that's down to him giving his all for the early part of the season.

Arshavin has the creative skill we've missed but his problem is his team play, with his tracking back being particularly poor.

I think in a game of this magnitude, Wenger will probably stick with the safer option of playing Nasri who will back up Gael Clichy on the left.

With Bacray Sagna available after injury I expect him to come straight back into the side.

The rest of the team picks itself. My predicted line up is:

Szczesny

Sagna - Djourou -  Koscielny -  Clichy

Diaby - Wilshere

Walcott - Fabregas - Nasri

van Persie

I'll post the official team line up once it's announced.  Come on you Gunners!




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