Writer: Site Staff
Date:Thursday April 16 2009
Tony Cascarino, pundit for the New Football Pools tips Arsenal to beat Chelsea this weekend.
'I think Arsenal will beat Chelsea in the FA Cup semi this weekend for the simple reason that they`re playing the best football in the Premier League at the moment. It`s no real surprise that the Gunners return to form has coincided with the return to fitness of Arsenal`s big hitters Emmanuel Adebayor, Theo Walcott and Cesc Fabregas. These players should give the Gunners the edge at Wembley.
One factor for both sides is their midweek Champions League exertions. Although both teams went through, Arsenal cruised through their match with Villarreal while Chelsea may be physically and mentally drained from their clash with Liverpool. Guus Hiddink`s side really had to fight to get through on Tuesday and I`m not sure they`ve got another really big performance left in them.
Didier Drogba`s performance is key to Chelsea`s hopes as a good, fit Drogba is a handful for any defence. That`s if he is not sulking or adopting a 'Billy big time` attitude which he is prone to. He has a strange personality where everything has to revolve around him. This was evident in last year`s Champions League final when he let the side down with his behavior believing the whole night was all about himself rather than the team. If Didier turns up on Saturday ready to go toe to toe with the Gunners defence Gladiatorial side then he will be very hard to play against. The big striker needs Hiddink to keep on top of him performance-wise so he doesn`t lapse into selfish mode.
I don`t expect many tactical reshuffles for this game from either side. Arsenal play their own way and Hiddink has nailed his colours to the mast for Chelsea in terms of playing with two wide men and Drogba through the centre with a 3-man midfield in behind them. The Dutchman has generally gone with Kalou and Malouda in those wide positions and they seem to have settled into those roles far better than for previous managers.
Defensively Chelsea are extremely vulnerable with Petr Cech hardly resembling the world class number 1 that played under Jose Mourinho. He is not the only one looking shaky. Ashley Cole may have been brilliant at the start of the season but he`s not looked as solid since. I also prefer the Chelsea backline when Ricardo Carvalho plays alongside John Terry as he is a better defender than Alex. However, Hiddink seems to prefer the Brazilian despite the number of goals being conceded.
Michael Essien has been a major plus for Chelsea mainly for his tackling and the way he tracks opposition midfielders. The Ghanaian drops into holes that both Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack don`t want to fill so gives the team far more balance when he plays. For me, John Obi Mikel is a poor man`s Essien and not in the same class.
In terms of form I would have to back Arsenal to reach the final as they are defending well and scoring goals which can`t be said of Chelsea defensively at the moment.'
To visit the New Football Pools - click here where you find the The Classic Pools, Footy 15 and Premier 10 games.
Date:Thursday April 16 2009
Rumours - Gnabry, Manquillo, Nastasic & Ospina (Tuesday July 22 2014)
Vital Arsenal: Join The Debate/Twitter/FaceBook (Tuesday July 22 2014)
Star Spangled Arsenal (Tuesday July 22 2014)
Wenger Won't Buy a Striker. But Does He Need One? (Monday July 21 2014)
Mourinho's New Material Is Rubbish (Sunday July 20 2014)
Wenger: We're Ready To FIGHT! (Friday July 18 2014)
Rambo: FA Cup Got The Media Monkey Off Our Back (Friday July 18 2014)
Walcott Will Miss First Few Weeks Of The Season (Friday July 18 2014)
Arsenal Right Back Among Transfer Spenders (Thursday July 17 2014)
Lukas Podolski Wants To Leave? (Thursday July 17 2014)
|2. Aston Villa||0||0||0||0||+0||0|
|5. Crystal Palace||0||0||0||0||+0||0|
|7. Hull City||0||0||0||0||+0||0|
|Morrison - On the Way Out?
╗ West Ham : 24/07/2014 13:01:00
|Liverpool: Rodgers After Value Not Marquee Buys
╗ Liverpool : 24/07/2014 13:00:00
|Robertson Transfer War!
╗ West Ham : 24/07/2014 13:00:00
|Kouyate Injury Blow
╗ West Ham : 24/07/2014 12:59:00
|Carroll Injury- What`s Going On?
╗ West Ham : 24/07/2014 12:58:00