Wednesday, 17 February 2010

More injuries for Arsenal ahead of Porto clash

More injuries for Arsenal. Will it ever end? According to the London Evening Standard, William Gallas, Manuel Almunia, Alex Song, Eduardo and Andre Arshavin are all unavailable for tonight's Champions League match away to FC Porto in addition to long-term casualities Gibbs, Djourou and van Persie. All the injured players are also likely to miss the weekend's home Premier League match against Sunderland.

However, Arsene Wenger is refusing to allow the onging injury situation to be used as an excuse for poor perforances. "It is not a serious concern," he said, "the concern is that the players who are here perform at their best." Which is quite right.

If we are going to miss anyone, it will be Alex Song, for whom I don't believe Denilson is an adequate replacement. I'm not one of those who constantly berate Denilson, but I don't think that he is comfortable in the anchor man position and I don't think he is in very good form at the moment. I quite like the look of Craig Eastmond in that position, but I very much doubt that Arsene Wenger would be willing to risk such an inexperienced player in that position in such a key match. Diaby and Fabregas are likely to make up the remainder of the midfield.

at the back, Lukasz Fabianski, who has also been on the receiving end of some strong praise recently from Wenger, should be able to cover in goal for Manuel Almunia without any problem as long as he doesn't get too nervous, and Sulzeer Jeremiah Campbell should be able to cover adequately for Gallas, despite his relative lack of match practice.

Up front, Wenger has also been singing the praises of Nicklas Bendtner, so I would expect him to start, along with two from Nasri, Rosicky and Walcott.

So I expect the starting line-up to be:

Sagna Campbell Vermaelen Clichy
Fabregas Denilson Diaby
Walcott Bendtner Nasri

I'm quietly confident about tonight's match. Let's hope that the players aren't too nervous and that they deliver what they are capable of.

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