Saturday, 17 September 2011

Is Wenger about to hand Arshavin, Walcott and Gervinho new roles?

The Arsenal defence seems to have come good since the arrival of Per Mertesacker. Now is Arsene Wenger going to shake up his attack for today's game with Blackburn Rovers?

With Yossi Benayoun playing a full 90 minutes in Germany in midweek, the Arsenal manager looks set to replace the Israel international with Andrey Arshavin for this lunchtime's clash with bottom of the table Blackburn.

The Russian has usually been posted on the left side of the attacking three in Wenger's 4-2-3-1 formation, but with Gervinho terrorising defenders from that position and Theo Walcott offering pace  on the other flank, Arshavin could well be moved into the middle of the park to put his devastating final balls to good use.

Theo Walcott who is usually tasked with supporting captain Robin van Persie in the box, would be used to stretch the home side's defence by hugging the right touchline. Arshavin would in turn play closest to van Persie and get into the box when attacking.

Wenger will also want to make good use of the adaptable nature of Gervinho and Walcott's games by asking them to swop flanks at regular intervals during the game. This has already been seen in good use during Arsenal's Champions League games this season.

I doubt the manager will bring in Andre Santos for his debut today, so expect Kieran Gibbs to start his third game in eight days. I think the other positions in the side will be filled by those who started in midweek against Dortmund.

I expect The Arsenal to line up:


Sagna - Mertesacker - Koscielny - Gibbs

Song - Arteta

Walcott - Arshavin - Gervinho

van Persie

Subs: Fabianski, Santos, Djourou, Frimpong, Benayoun, Park, Chamakh.

I'll post the official team line up once Arsene Wenger has announced it. If you're not at the game and want to join other Gooners for live interactive text commentary, log on for our live blog from 12.30pm. Set up a reminder below.

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