Saturday, 20 August 2011

Nasri to start -Frimpong and Jenkinson handed debuts -Miyaichi to score winner!


Arsene Wenger has few choices to make with his starting 11, considering how threadbare his squad is at the moment.

Decimated by injuries, sales and suspensions, the Arsenal manager has the option of picking from 20 of his first team squad consisting of 30 players and four of those are goal keepers.

So picking the 16 outfield players in the squad couldn't be any simpler for the Frenchman.

He's without new signing Gervinho and Alex Song (both suspended) as well as the injured: Kieran Gibbs, Armand Traore, Johan Djourou, Jack Wilshere, Abou Diaby, Tomas Rosicky and Craig Eastmond. Joel Campbell is ineligible because he is still waiting for a work permit.

So Wenger has to decide whether it is worth taking a risk by playing Samir Nasri to see him get injured, therefore putting his proposed move to Manchester City in jeopardising his move or whether he is prepared to take that risk because him playing for Arsenal is a more pressing need.

I personally believe the ground work laid by Wenger yesterday suggests he'll start Nasri. We cannot really expect another young player with little or no Premier League experience to come in and hope for a positive result today. Playing two teenagers, who will be making their Premier League debuts, against Liverpool is tough enough. Weakening the team further can not really be an option.

I expect to see the defence which finished Wednesday night's match to continue this afternoon. The only changes I can see are in attack. Van Persie in for Chamakh is pretty obvious. Walcott to remain on the right with Arshavin resuming on the left. Nasri playing in the middle of the attacking three.

I think with Nasri coming into the attack, Ramsey will drop back into a deep lying midfield role alongside Emmanuel Frimpong.

I expect Arsenal to line up like this:

Szczesny

Sagna - Koscielny - Vermaelen - Jenkinson

Ramsey - Frimpong

Walcott - Nasri - Arshavin

van Persie

Subs: Fabianski, Squillaci, Lansbury, Miyaichi, Oxlade-Chamberlain Bendtner, Chamakh

I'll post the official team line up once it's announced.

Taking A Punt
So far I've had no success with my betting. But I fancy us today to win the match. Could we take a 2-1 victory? bet365 are offering 9/1 on that outcome. Whilst Ryo Miyaichi could make his debut as a substitute and Coral are offering 10/3 on him scoring anytime or 10/1 to be the last scorer.

I think I'll go for Miyaichi to score the last goal.

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