Monday, 16 April 2012

Wenger must make one change for Wigan clash - Will RVP SWHW again?

Morning Gooners.

It feels like an age to when I was last able to blog - before the QPR game. I predicted that day if we didn't turn up with a professional attitude, we'd lose the game. We were sloppy, second best and deserved to lose against a team who were fighting for their Premier League lives.

Following the poor result at Loftus Road, we've beaten Manchester City and completed a very professional job against bottom of the table Wolves. Tonight we return to the Grove to face another team battling relegation in Wigan.

Back in December when we faced Roberto Martínez's side we had six league wins on the bounce behind us. Winning at the DW Stadium would take us to seven. The game in the north west was a fantastic day out for all Gooners, not only a four goal win with a clean sheet, but the day Robin van Persie's new song was born.

The Dutchman had been on a bit of a goal drought prior to his penalty at Wolves. Let's hope he's firing on all cylinders tonight when a resurgent Wigan arrive. Having beaten Liverpool at Anfield and taken three points from Manchester United in their last league game, the visitors shouldn't be thought of as easy meat for us to take three points from.

The team needs to ensure it is fully focused for this one. We need to build on our lead in the league over Spurs, Chelsea and Newcastle. Eight points would be a great advantage to have if we won. Going into the Chelsea game with that sort of advantage should put us in pole position for third place. But we have to ensure a victory over Wigan tonight takes us there.

The players should be confident. We've had a deserved victory over Manchester City and a good win over Wolves since not turning up at QPR. While I had my doubts that we'd win against Mark Hughes' men, I don't think there is any chance of us trying to convince ourselves the game is already won before stepping foot on the pitch.

Tomas Rosicky, rested for the trip to Molineux, is one of the players banging the drum against complacency.

He said:
"People might not usually regard a match against Wigan as such a big one but they are still battling relegation, so there is a lot at stake for both of us.  
"We saw what can happen against a team fighting for its life when we played away at QPR and we expect the same kind of performance from Wigan on Monday. We have to give 100 per cent to get the result."
We have seen from Rosicky's performances in recent months that he's come into the best form of his Arsenal career because of his hard working attitude. I would imagine that he'll be restored to the starting line up in place of Aaron Ramsey.

There aren't too many other changes that can or should be made. Laurent Koscielny is suspended for this one before he's able to play on Saturday, so the manager has no option but to stick with Johan Djourou and Thomas Vermaelen.

At left back, I expect Andre Santos to continue even if Kieran Gibbs does make a return to fitness.

I'd expect the starting line up to be:
Szczesny; Sagna, Djourou, Vermaelen, Santos; Song, Arteta; Walcott, Rosicky, Benayoun; van Persie.

We've seen how great an atmosphere we can create at the Grove this season, let's get behind the boys tonight to ensure those points are in the bag.

Up the Arsenal!



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