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Pundits View - Sevilla v Arsenal

Sevilla v Arsenal

Arsenal gave Sevilla a good 3-0 drubbing in the reverse fixture at The Emirates and a repeat looks unlikely at 40/1 with William Hill.

The Gunners are a massive 13/5 to win a game they don't have to, having already qualified for the next round.

A draw (23/10) would be enough to for them to fulfil Wenger's wishes of topping the group but Sevilla need to win to guarantee action in the next round and are appropriately priced at 21/20.

Arsenal are missing a few players and, with Adebayor out, it is expected that Nicklas Bendtner will start up front and is 9/1 to score first or 7/2 anytime.

Sevilla's leading scorer Luis Fabiano, who has been having ankle problems, will be available and is 7/1 for the first goal and 11/4 to score in 90 minutes.

With three players on the pitch just one yellow card away from suspension it could be a cautious game and you can take 11/8 that there are fewer than 25 booking points.

For those odds and more, go to:

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The Journalist

Writer: Site Staff Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday November 27 2007

Time: 1:18PM

Your Comments

Might be worth a fiver at 40/1!!!!
Bendtner at 7/2 to score isn't a bad little dabble.
i'd go for 13/5.. i got a feeling anybody who comes in is going to grab his chance to prove himself.. be it dudu or bendtner.. and likewise for others like senderos.. traore.. diarra to name a few.. and seeing the fact that sevilla themselves are not exactly running through a great patch of form.. i think we can win this one....
what an annoying ref
efffinnggg senderos
*****im refferee gifted them that second one
Senderos is officially the one player that *****es me of the most next to Eboue.
Youngest in Charge
Senderos 'sigh' ffs, is it a coincidence we find ourselves a bit short defensively on his return !?
Gilberto didn't help things by not clearing the ball. But it was Senderos who landed us in the ****e in the first place. Almunia should have saved the second.
Wyn Mills
when toure leaves we will need more cover for sure
senderos has been error prone for too long now, i hate bagging our players usually ill just bite my lip but lets not give him chances forever coz he can cost us in big games
other than that im loving eduardo and bendtner
sevilla are looking good for a third
fair result
our defense was *****e
Wenger f***ed it. Not tonight but in the previous game in Prague. You can be assured we will draw Barca in the next round.
Ashburton Gooner
Is it just me or were the sev crowd a bunch of cnts, all they did was boo and it doe my nut in :(
Bad Bad decision to play such a weakened defence. It will probably cost us this competition. No doubt we will finish second and draw a top side. Traore and Hoyte were letting cross after cross into our box. As for Senderos...the less said the better. Gilberto? Now we can see how much slower and awful he is compared to Flamini. We lost that game in defence. No Question.
Wyn Mills
Another thing...Almunia isn't a bad keeper. He's just not world class. He could be the difference between us making that final leap to champions.
Wyn Mills
wyn mate, seriously, dont worry, and dont be so pesinistic, it was a second string side against a full strength sevilla, do you seriously reckon he'll be playing that side against the likes of Barca, lets get this in perspective, it was a bad night at the office, yes Bert looked slow, but he has hardly played this season, yes we lost our shape, but how many changes were made... we move on, and we're qualified and more than capable of beating any team we play. keep the belief! if we want to win we will have to play a top side regardless of what stage
I only hope Senderos isnt seen as a short term replacement for Kolo, surely the thinking was Djourou to do this role, hence getting 6months first team football with the brummies
I don't care if we get 2nd place and draw a top side. The sooner we knock the big guys out of the competition the better. Bring it on!
bert will be fine its defensive cover that was exposed today...we have people crying for starting spots in all positions rightfully coz they would be starters on most teams (e.g. bendtner in front and diarra and bert in the middle) except for defense. other than that to play the young guys in sevilla was a tough ask and the result reflected that but wenger made the right decision this was not a must win. the more i see bendtner the more i like the guy he'll be a superstar in a short time
Well said flv!
Yep Senderos wasn't good this evening, but he's a big monster of an engine just like Campbell was, and we all know that big engines require some fine tuning. Remember when Campbell used to come back from injuries he was never great, but given a couple of games he'd soon be back to being the rock.
Thanks TR7. I think that it's worth remembering sometimes that our best run in he CL was R.Madrid, Juventus, Villareal, Barcelona. Okay we fell at the final hurdle with 10 men on the field but hey, most would replace PSV with any of those teams and we all know where PSV got us.
we missed the fight of billy tonight in my opinion, that man has been a revelation this season
You play Gilberto once in a never, and expect him to be the flash. -.-
gilberto just signed his contract at Delle Alpi with that performance. Senderos... rock? come January, Wenger should do a "buy 2 get 1 free": Sendo+Gilberto for 10 mil + u get lehmann for free. Djourou HAS to be recalled or we HAVE to get a CB. If Gallas (god forbid) is injured while Toure is away, well we're A TAD thin at the back.
TR7, why choose to play Barca at this stage? The further we go in this competition the more likely we are to win it. Many many other managers know this. Only our lot refuse to play the percentages. In my opinion it shows a degree of arrogance to believe your second string side can overpower a full strength competitor vying withn you to win the group. I hope your confidence in our ability to beat anyone isn't misplaced because right now there are a few teams I'd rather avoid as soon as we come out of the group stages. I guess the EPL is a higher priority for Wenger, but the way its panned out now things are not in our hands. And yes, I believe with our full strength defence we would not have lost that game.
Wyn Mills
Diarra should definitely have been playing instead of Gilberto.
Wyn Mills
Bad game. BUT, big BUT, we had better lost here than risked/exhausted some of our players as there're a few away/big games coming. And flv, I agree (and too) agree with you on the draw. The official match report says "But then, given the lengthy run they have been on, any opponent will be just as concerned about Arsenal as Arsenal will be of them." Bring them on!
Now is the best time to play the likes of Barca and Milan. Both are shambles.
Wyn Mills, it's not Arsene being arrogant, but he just calculated the risk, trying to balance that with what's ahead in the league. And we've all come to understand that CL as a cup tournament is a bit of a lucky draw in the knockout stage. But the league we're definitely in a good position to challenge.
G4L, you're right, I'm not scared to face Barca or Real now either. But the knockout stage starts on 19-20 Feb. ACN only ends on 10 Feb. Let's pray Kolo and Eboue (and defence is exactly our weakest link, as you guys say)come back unscathed then. Now I'm even keen to keep Song in the squad. To be honest, I hope Arsene doesn't give him enough games to build up his credentials for a Cameroon call-up. Every defender will be important then.
i want to finish second we get a big team and keeps us on are toes i love it when we are the underdogs look at last year we got bad team live PSV we lost One more thing if senderos covers for toure in the ACN we can say goodbye to the league the guy is pascal cygan son a shambles ticking time bomb its every game him plays he makes mistakes please shift this misfit away and play song or djourou
Sorry G4L, but I honestly beleive that misplaced faith in Senderos will come back and bite us on the arse big time should we let him go. In the unwritten law of defence, he's still 5 years away from even entering peak form and in my eyes, he's a scary enough right now. Add another few years of experience to his game and a beard and f*** me, I wouldn't want to challenge him!!! Okay he's not first team right now but we're better with him than without him.
that may be true flv but we dont have 5 years to give him we need quality cover now.(i would like to see him in a beard though)
for once i am not bothered, it was a nothing game, we have already qualified, i am not gonna lose sleep over it.
I don't understand some of the comments on here. If Wenger had started a full strength team in Prague we would've won the match pretty early on & he could then have brought on substitutes. He f***ed that up badly & by starting a reserve team in Sevilla its cost us first place in the group. However its not like he didn't take most of the first team players with him, so its hardly like they get away from the travelling, tiredness etc. When the season really starts around Feb/March, which is the title run in, we are going to have to play a top european team (Barca, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan or if we're lucky maybe Porto) in the CL as opposed to Man Utd who are going to be facing the likes of Rangers, Shakhtar/Celtic, Lazio, Rosenborg, Marseille or Fenerbahce. Sorry, but when you're having vital league matches I know the quality of opposition I'd rather face. When we made the CL final it was partly because we wasn't in the title race & if everyone remembers Wenger played reserve players in several league games including the likes of Spuds at highbury which nearly cost us fourth place. He won't have that luxury this time!!
Ashburton Gooner
It's very easy to criticise the coach for picking an understrength team but it was a claculated gamble and a worthwhile one for me. We have ten games in December, seven of which are away from home. Wenger was p[laying the percentages, I'll take finishing second in this group if it means we are still top of the league in January, and I'd rather have lost last night than lost the Villa game, or lost a fatigued player due to injury. The chances of injury increase rapidly with fatigue. We won't see whether this was a correct gamble or not for a good few months yet, but I think it was worth it. Wenger has spoken in the past about letting competitions get away by being too greedy and exhausting his players too early. If you want to win the CL you have to knock out the big sides, and frankly, we're in a title race and if we're gonna get knocked out of Europe, it might as well be in February as April. Of course it hurts to lose, but it's impossible to keep playing game after game without resting players, now was the right time to do it and I'm disappointed to see such a hysterical reaction to one defeat in a game that wasn't overly crucial.
Little Dutch
Apparently Fabregas did his hamstring.. so we'll have to wait and see if Wenger took a gamble in playing him...
Cesc could be out for a couple of weeks by the looks of things. And some of the reactions to players on this site are at times bordering on the frenzied! The Villa game is of much more importance.
Whinger will get a 6 game touchline ban it has been announced.....Silly fool!!
Its good to have some of the reserve players given a go. I agree with Wenger's decision, coz it cost us last season. Seville outplayed us, and they were the better side, no shame in losing to such a side. The defence was sloppy overall, but not that bad for us to start getting really worried. I've backed Senderos in the past but he should start eliminating his mistakes. My patience is wearing thin with him.
I agree with LD here. We're going to have to face a top side in the CL at some stage, and having to raise your game early is no bad thing. I still think we can finish top because we should beat Steau at home, and Slavia away won't be easy for Sevilla because Slavia need to win for a place in the UEFA. We could have won yesterday's game, we just got complacent and individual errors for players that aren't match-fit have cost us. We have a MASSIVE run of league games in December and its absolutely crucial we do well in every single one.
You can see why Arsene took the gamble. A win away at Villa would mean more than winning this game. Still, disappointing that the defence under-performed as it did. It was a make-shift group, but Hoyte was out-classed and Senderos singularly failed to cover himself in glory (again). If we keep our league form up though then I can live with not winning the Champs League.
Also something tactically wasn't right because Alves consistently kept having time and space down the right side to come forward - or was it maybe Eduardo not doing enough to help coming back?
Don't get too despondent people, remember when the team were still gelling - we still beat Real and Juve, so all's not over till lampard sings! We had to lose sooner or later - sometimes losing is a good motivator. I'd rather lose a game that doesn't mean as much then lose a prem game, and am glad that most of the first team are more rested. Remember, Arsene knows, he keeps proving that!
******** the end of the world. We lost a game, a game that bearly mattered, a game in which we made 8 first team changes, some people on here are whinging for whingings sake. We have three away games in a period of 7 days, which we need to win. It's all well and good finishing top of the group, but if by the time we get to play our "easier" game in the CL our cinfindence may be shot of suffering a crappy run of results due to whole bunch of fatuiged and injured players. Anyway's we finished 1st in the group 2 years ago and ended up with Real Madrid.
LD, I don't see any hysterical reactions to that result at all. If you mean some people are disappointed because we lost, then fair enough, but just because others view of Wenger's decision is different from yours I wouldn't call that hysterical. As for talking about the Villa game as if we had already got a result is some what presumptuous. Just because Arsene rested players yesterday it doesn't mean we will automatically go to Villa Park & win or draw. Anyway, my reaction is not only based on last nights result. I believe Wenger should have played his strongest team against Prague in a game we would have won, that would have meant we could still finish top despite losing in Seville which was always a real prospect no matter which players Arsene selected, (obviously it would also have depended on us not losing by 4 goals, which was unlikely). After the Prague game we weren't playing Reading until the monday night so there was plenty of time for players to recover. Arsene gets very little wrong, but he has screwed this one up, if you win your first 3 group stage games you should go on to win the group. He knows he messed it up, which is why he lost it on the sidelines & got himself sent off.
Ashburton Gooner
R7, I said this before, I'll say it again. It is not about last nights game. As many said it before, it was a good chance to give some people a run out and see what they are made of. This is where the Senderos deal comes into play - he is unreliable. He has the most CL, EPL, Cup experience from all the rest (Toure, Hoyte, Denilson) and is considered to be the back-up CB to Gallas/Toure. On that performance, I don't care the character of the game he was just shocking. All of his fallacies were at display yesterday and while some of the physical attributes (sharpness, speed, stamina) can be explained (not excused) with his return from injury, the mental lapses have no explanation. He looked like a big time bottler. Re- finishing 2nd or 1st, I honestly do not care - it is a Cup competition and with full strength, we can beat anyone home and away. Especially Barca.
AG, in your logic, even if AW played best 11 in Prague doesn't mean we'd win. Especially in those conditions. He hasn't screwed anything up as we are sitting pretty in all competitions.
G4L, the best 11 should have been good enough in Prague to beat a team we beat 7-0 at home. They couldn't improve that much in 3 weeks. So judging by your logic we will still win the group as Wenger hasn't screwed anything up!!
Ashburton Gooner
G4L Sendoras has more exp in the prem than Toure?????????
AG - will you still be saying Wenger screwed up if we finish second and draw Porto whilst sevilla draw AC Milan? It's all about luck in who you draw, the main thing is we're in the hat, and we have fresh players coming into a run of very hard games. The PL is the bread and butter, and we need to be top come Janurary.
R7, AC Milan will win their group so Sevilla wont draw them. If we finish 2nd in the group then Wenger has messed it up, our only hope of then getting an easier draw is to hope marseille or porto win Liverpool's group. However should Liverpool do their usual & come through to win it, then our choices will be limited to AC Milan, Inter Milan, Barcelona or Real Madrid. Anyone saying they don't care where we finish the group is so short sighted its unbelievable. Why do you think we have been in the top seeds each season?? Should we get knocked out in the next round (which would be consecutive seasons) we stand every chance of being in the second pot of seeds next season, meaning a harder group. Its also funny how the people that are on here saying how we have to play hard teams at some point so why not play them now, are exactly the same people that whine & moan when we draw a premier league team in the early rounds of the league or fa cup. Surely the principle would be exactly the same!!............R7, maybe you should do a poll & see which trophy the fans would rather win, the league or the champions league because I would rather win the CL & be in with the elite clubs rather than consistently be known as an also-ran!! I reckon it would come out near to 50-50!!
Ashburton Gooner
R7, did Cesc not have an enforced rest this last weekend, & is he now injured despite having that rest? Just shows that trying to second guess when a player is going to get injured or suspended is futile. Rafa Benitez has been trying to second guess such events since the start of the season & he finds himself 6 points behind us & struggling in europe!!
Ashburton Gooner
There is a distict lack of bell ends / spuds here telling us we are on the way down etc etc etc... regardless, we have already qualified so I could care less who we get next, we need to beat a top team at some point so why not sooner rather than later? And besides, I want the premiership title, the CL is secondary in my opinion
i completely agree with AG, finishing top of the group is a must, because now we have a 80&% chance of being drawn against a top Italian or a Spanish team, and i so get a feeling it will be Barcelona. these things always tend to happen. but hey Sevilla have to play away in Prague which won't be easy, so if we win our home tie and Sevilla draw, we finish top. but i'm most concerned about the injury to Fabregas. how many weeks will he miss? does anyone have any news about his injury?
AG, what I'm saying is that we won't see whether this gamble will pay off or not until around Feb or March time. It's impossible to say he's screwed it up, just like it's impossible to say he got it right. The fact is, this defeat might lose us our momentum and confidence and we lose at Villa. But it might be that the rested players have more of an edge and beat Villa, it's a calculable risk, what I'm saying is that I can see the logic behind it, totally. We've achieved our objective and qualified, of course I want to finish top, but I'd rather be top of the Prem in the new year. The question of momentum is offset as we are *****ing in the wind if we think we're not going to drop points in December, ourselves Chelsea, United and Liverpool will all drop points somewhere. The month ends with away matches at Pompey and Everton, two of the hardest games you could wish for in a busy time of year, and if the players are slightly fresher for it and we can limit the amount of points we drop over December, then I'm all for it. It might yet blow up in our faces, but I know that Wenger has made mistakes in the past by going all guns blazing for everything. Like I say he's playing the percentages, we're also going to definitely lose players to injury over December, if we can limit the prospect of those players being Clichy, Adebayor and Gallas then I'll go for it. As you point out, it's no certainty that they won't get injured in the next game anyway, it comes back to those percentages again. I think Wenger's made an informed decision and I totally understand it.
Little Dutch
LD, you have misunderstood me. I didn't say he had screwed up the whole season either in the league or CL, just that he screwed up the match in Prague, thats undeniable as we didn't win & looked awful that night. As you point out he is playing the percentage game, but lets face it, that hasn't served him to well in the past with regards the CL. My question to you would be: Coming into March would you rather be 12 points in front with a tired team or 12 points behind with a team that feels fresh?? Rafa is taking that risk & its not working so far, we will have to see if it pays off. For the record i'd rather be 12 points ahead with a tired team!!
Ashburton Gooner
Glad you cleared that one up there AG. We'll get Barce, it'll happen. And We'll win, cos we're Ar-senal
AG, respect your opinion fella, but my opinion is that there is no escaping the hard games in any competition, so does it really matter when you have to play them! I say this honestly, I am not naive, nor have I ever complained about a cup or league draw, to tar all with the same brush is a little short sighted mate.
hey if you ask any other team out there who they would hate to meet in the second round!!! i bet you 9/10 times its arsenal (coccky but true). if we end up second, everyone who lands top will be sheeting themselves... i hope we meet italian teams coz we seem to run them into oblivion...bring on AC Milan next this is a cup competition not a league for me its all or nothing so i dont care who we meet...i just want to win the CL not get to the semis, quarters or anything like that so i wouldn't care less
I see where you're coming from AG, but I think it unlikely that we'll be either 12 points in front or behind, in all likelihood it'll be a couple of points tops, and anything we can do to get an advantage will be critical. The comparison with Benitez is not quite valid as we have not rotated anywhere near that much, we have kept a settled side until now, but we've come to a point in the season where that's no longer no possible. As for the Praha game. we had games on the horizon against Liverpool and United and given that we resuced both games in the last ten minutes, I think his decision to rest players was vindicated.
Little Dutch
AG - AC Milan was obviously an example, I think you know that. My point is that we can draw anyone, no matter where we finish. And we have a massive amount of games coming up and players need to be rotated. I don't think Wenger made a mistake in Prague, the team he sent out should have easily been able to win, it's the players, if anybody, who were at fault.
AFC85Lew, good spot up there, it was always Traore instead of Toure.
and to my knowledge, last year we had a great draw (PSV), played the first away, 2nd home and lost. CL is a competition where you just play whoever comes next and you try to beat them. Our young squad is bound to be more motivated, pumped up and ready to deliver when they play Barca, Milan, etc. rather than Porto. And LD is absolutely spot on with the assessment on the decisions to rest players. We had Pool and ManYoo then coming up, now we have a couple of tough away games against an in-form Villa side and against a struggling Newcastle, managed by one of our favourites.
bothered.......not,if the ref had given us that eboue pen,couldve been a diferent story,but hey ho
fran merida
We are arsenal with a good run with injuries we can beat anyone Senderos needs to go he shouldnt be wearing that shirt back up CB in january is of utmost importance
The reasoning that we had Liverpool or Man Utd on the horizon just doesn't wash. Both those teams are also in the CL so would have the same problems as ourselves, plus you can add to that the fact the game after Prague was against Reading on the monday night. The reason we are 3 points above man utd with a game in hand is because Ferguson rotated, its also something Benitez has been doing all season..................It doesn't work!!
Ashburton Gooner
AG, u can find a hole in every argument. The argument of finishing first in the group so we can get an easier draw doesn't wash either since, as I said, we had a relatively 'easy' draw last year and we still screwed up.
G4L, this isn't last season its the here & now!! What happened last season is irrelevant to what happens this. We were rubbish last season, this season we aren't. You'll be the first one moaning on here if next season we are in the second pot of seeds & have to face a massive european team in the group stages.
Ashburton Gooner
AG, I won't be moaning about anything, let alone a 'massive european team' in the group stages. As far as I'm concerned, CL is a competition which ALMOST everyone with decent quality can win it, regardless of their opponents in the qualifying, group, or knock-out stages. Compared to the powerhouses of Europe there have been relatively average sides who have won it (Liverpool and Porto as such) or on the brink of winning it (Monaco, Leverkusen). Since it is here and now as you say, and since you have no crystal ball that can tell you where we will finish in the group (1st or 2nd), who we will draw and how will we fair against that mystery team, I suggest we draw this one to a close.
G4L, whatever I put on here is just my opinion, nothing more & nothing less!! One of your comments above states how unreliable Senderos is & that he should be sold off in January, well without a crystal ball how do you know that he will remain unreliable?? Therefore as you don't have any idea as to his future reliability, should you be commenting on it?............Now before you start again, yes this last comment was me being silly, however the principle is exactly the same. You see fit to say what you like, but pull others up for doing exactly the same thing, so maybe you should think about that.
Ashburton Gooner
Early days with the poll AG, but far more fans want the Premiership than the CL ;). Lets see if that turns around in a few days.
my comment re the CL is perfectly sound and I argued it why. Yours is based on speculation - if we draw Rangers we'd be better off than drawing AC Milan. How? Milan have been utter dross this year, Barca have been poor as well, only Madrid and perhaps Inter looks formidable. But we have good records against them. Last year's Arsenal campaign proved exactly that. The statement that we were rubbish last year comes from where? Before we played PSV (away) we were on a 12 match unbeaten run that included those results at Anfield, the home win against united, bolton away in FA Cup, and the comeback against the sp*rs at the lane. A pretty in form team if you ask me. As for Senderos - it is also a fact that he has never emulated his form from 2005 and keeps wasting given chances at the expense of others. He has a serious self-confidence problem that he is yet to address. He has been very very average and hence my opinion on him. No crystal ball needed. And I have no idea where you got the idea I'd be moaning about being 2nd seeds.
G4L, your comment re the CL is not sound at all. I will come on & make a public apology to you if Arsenal win our champions league group, however I don't need a crystal ball to know that won't happen, so its not speculation. As for my comment that we were rubbish last season, its easy for you to pick out one period of time we were doing ok, however seen as we were as great as you have professed we were, then tell me how many trophies we picked up?? Or why don't you tell me how close we came to winning the title?? Its also strange why you didn't pick the period of last season when we lost to Man City, Fulham, Sheff Utd, Everton, Bolton or the time we took a hammering at Anfield!! My point is that anyone can pick out a fact to distort an argument. Using your logic, arsenal must be one big pile of s*** right now, because if AC Milan & Barcelona are 'dross', yet both are leading their CL groups (& both are in much more difficult groups than us) infact in Barca's case they are undefeated in the competition, so what does all that make arsenal?? Of course though your not referring to the CL, you must be claiming they are dross on their league form even though Barca are only 2 points off top place. So assuming you are basing it on their league form, then you have just contradicted yourself. I can't be bothered to explain how or why because this whole discussion is boring me now. If you do need to know though I suggest you re-read your last comment & in particular the bit about arsenal & last season!!
Ashburton Gooner
AG, if you look closely to my previous comment, the reason why I picked that period is because it was prior to the game played @ PSV. I did not say we were great, I said we were a team in obvious good form and spirits! But CL being a competition where anyone can beat everyone, we lost. This year, even if we're 2nd in the group and even if we draw Barca, we have 50-50 chance to beat them - the same amount of chances we'd have to beat the Rangers or Celtic or whoever. I'd rather play Barca and Milan this season than any other season for quite obvious reasons too - Barca has serious internal problems with overweight and sulking Ronnie, Rijkaard, injuries to Henry, Eto'o and Puyol, etc. and Milan is 10th in the league with a set of problems of their own. You know what I am saying but you're stubbornly defending your point of view.

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