Saturday, 14 December 2013

Wenger's three changes for Man City -Sanga set to sign £3.6m deal

Morning Gooners.

I'm feeling rather positive that we're going to get a result this lunchtime. We're not top of the league without merit and the fact we've built a five point lead on our rivals builds a buffer between us and them is testament to this team grinding out results.

Manchester City might have the most expensively assembled squad in the league, but I believe that we have the better team. Of course the timing of this match could have been better and Arsene Wenger has said that can't be an excuse. We need to show that despite the hand we've been dealt, we can go and win at Middle Eastlands.

We've gone to Manchester with pretty much an entirely fit squad. Bacary Sagna has passed a fitness test and has travelled. The manager said Lukas Poldolski is ready but lacks match fitness. So there are decisions to be made.

Wojciech Szczesny starts in goal without question. If Sanga is able to start, I'd play him. I think he's an important cog in our defence and will allow the manager to play Theo Walcott in front of him. In defence we'll see Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny in the middle, with Kieran Gibbs at left back.

In the deep-lying midfield roles it will be Mathieu Flamini or Mikel Arteta alongside Aaron Ramsey. I think the manager will opt for the Spaniard.

Then in the attacking three behind Olivier Giroud we have a lot of options. Mesut Ozil will be the first name on the team sheet, so it's down to a choice between Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere.

I think Jack Wilshere is certain to start. He didn't play at all in Napoli so will be fresh for this game. And another player who hasn't started a game since his return from injury is Theo Walcott. However I think the manager will opt for Santi Cazorla.

My starting line up would be: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud.

With a bench of: Fabianski, Monreal, Vermaelen, Flamini, Rosicky, Walcott, Podolski.

Meanwhile the manager has spoken with optimism that Bacary Sagna will sign a new contract with the club. The rumoured deal is a two year contract worth £70k a week, so £3.64m a season.

Wenger said:
"That could be decided in next two weeks. It looks positive. It would be a great boost, of course."
There was an expectation at the training ground last summer that Sagna would leave but he's stayed on into his final season. I think he's been one of our most consistent performers this year and will be very happy if he signs a new deal.

Hopefully he'll be part of a team which puts in a great performance this afternoon to get a result in Manchester.


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