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Team News: Valencia v. Arsenal

For the last preseason match before the 09/10 Barclay's Premier League, Arsenal travels south to the sunny and beautiful Spain to take on Valencia at the Mestalla

As far as preseason games go, this one is as important as they get. Arsene is expected to field the team he wants to start at Goodison Park. Of course this is barring any unexpected injuries tonight or in the absolutely ******* idiotic international games on Wednesday.

It is looking increasingly likely that we will be using a 4-3-3 in the new season to accomodate our wealth of attacking talent as well as our lack of a true defensive partner for Fabregas that is required in a 4-4-2 formation. This match will challenge that formation as much as a preseason match can. Valencia is a good attacking team that can pose a threat from all areas of the pitch. With Silva, Fernandes, and Joaquin in the midfield, they will press forward and severly test how our three midfielders will protect our back five. Also with one of the top 5 strikers in the world, David Villa, the partnership of Gallas and Djourou will also face a stern test.

Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs have been included in the squad for the first time this preseason. Nasri, Vermaelen, and Rosicky are all out.

Starting Lineup: Almunia, Eboue, Gallas, Djourou, Clichy, Song, Diaby, Fabregas, Arshavin, Bendtner, van Persie

Bench: Fabianski, Sagna, Silvestre, Merida, Walcott, Traore, Wilshere, Ramsey, Eduardo

The game is being shown live on Arsenal TV Online right now.

Arsenal's next match is in Liverpool against Everton on the 15th

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The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday August 8 2009

Time: 8:10PM

Your Comments

No vermaelen or Deni.Sign of what to expect?
Not the lineup I expected. The club has failed to keep us informed about injuries this preseason. Oh well. Looking forward to the match.
Now here's a challenge - Zigic is starting...
It's pouring now at kickoff. So much for the sunny Spain comment!
Wow Diaby does have hair
Arsene said he wouldn't show all his cards in this game, but just 90% of who'd play again Everton. I'm hoping that 10% is Diaby and Eboue...
I thought merida went on loan?
I don't think we've sent him off yet Dan. Maybe he'll take a cab after the game? He is going to Levante (of Valencia) after all.
That's true Rob lol, we're quite literally dropping him off there.
Could someone please do me a favour and let me know when the second half starts (if it hasn't already) coz i'm having some trouble watching it
We're on 60 mins now...
bollox, the stream I was watching is now showing Mr **** Bean! WHY!?
Great save
What's the score please?
1-0 Valencia - Michel scored, Fabianski saved Villa's penalty earlier.
Er Rob, Fabi saved a pen. They had a free kick - but I wasn't sure about that foul cos Traore went down as their player - then er a cross, Michel's shot went in. Now we're dealing with their attack but not having enough penetration.
Er Rob, Fabi saved a pen. They had a free kick - but I wasn't sure about that foul cos Traore went down as their player - then er a cross, Michel's shot went in. Now we're dealing with their attack but not having enough penetration.
that was lucky. Should've been another penalty to them.
2nd half has been p1ss poor due to all the subs
Er I thought Traore put in a good tackle? I'm wathing on the you-know-what too so I couldn't tell. :S
2-0 Fabianski is injured?..or might be pretend ;)
Can someone tell us if we really got any fluency? Cos I didn't even get a fluent picture to tell.
I thought it was a good tackle at first, but on the replay it was definately a foul.
Our defence looked shocking there! They could/should have had 4 or 5!
Lou, we never looked fluid all game. Really poor performance all around. I guess its better to get it out now.....
From what I saw we looked a bit tired. We didn't really hold the ball up front with no midfielders able to get up to support, because Valencia were afforded so much possesion in the middle with only 3 midfielders. Some defensive deficiencies too - as usual. I'd say that in a way it was a successful friendly, because it taught us a lot more about our new formation, it's just a shame it's the last chance we'll have to assess any problems in that formation - we can't exactly just switch to 4-4-2 for the Everton game now and expect a fluid performance. We did look tired though, so hopefully the team can freshen themselves up a bit before then.
Song looked very good again today by the way, although he was caught out a couple of times after going forward - but I nobody else was really helping our front 3, so I suppose he had to. Merida also looked fairly impressive considering the poor quality of the overall team performance. It's a shame we couldn't find a La Liga club for him to play at this season. Arshavin's pre-season has been unusual really. He's drifted in and out of games a lot, being quiet for ages and then producing some magic, before fading again - maybe just tiredness again.
Denilson would have been the difference.
What confuses me somewhat is that nomatter how well Song plays, our results always seem to be better with Denilson, even if he doesn't play all that well. Our defensive record is beter with Den too, even though Song, on paper, is the better defensive player. I guess it's because Cesc lies deep and tends only makes small runs to find space, and with Denilson we can compensate for Cesc's relative immobility with some added dynamism. As good as he is, Song isn't exactly a dynamo...
Song would not be in my starting XI, but could prove a useful sub.
That game could easily have been 4 or 5 nil. Lots for AW to think about, still, he has got a week !!!. We looked bad defensively, and rather strangely, couldn't really move the ball. Not ideal preparation, and these bloody stupid International matches mid-week, give us less time together, and increase our chances of key players picking up injuries.
"Song, on paper, is the better defensive player" - Denilson is most definitely the better defensive player on paper. Song is just bigger.
i thought the first half was a good game of football, valencia played very well and Arsenal held their own, and created a few fair chances themselves, the second half was a no-brainer due to all the subs...but saying that arsenal was a much better team in the first 15-20 mins of the 2nd half and could have taken the lead, if for example walcott had squared it to an open/unmarked eduardo instead of sticking it just wide of the post...valencia got back into the game after that and Arsenal became a bit leggy, with the Ref interrupting the flow with his whistle blowing the game petered out and Valencia took home advantage...personally i think 1-1 would have a been a fair result...2-0 flattered them a bit
fran merida
come on valencia!!!
Did Senderos travel by any chance?
No Phil was not in the squad.
Tom, I just meant that Song's primary focus is very much on defensive duties, although he has improved his offensive play greatly, wheras Denilson plays less deep and likes to get forward a bit more than Song. It is true though - in recent months Song has been joining in attacks much more than usual.
Song is an attacking midfielder by nature, I firmly believe that. He is better going forward than he is defending imo.
I've always thought Song wants to be an attacking midfielder, and by nature he is. We need someone who is defensive minded by nature in a DM posistion. Song isn't good enough to be a DM in the kind of team we want to be.
Sounds like I didn't miss much as my computer was down, so I couldn't watch the match live.
The team looked tired all through out the match. I am happy about this result as the team was beginning to get carried away. I guess it would bring them back to reality and they will realise the tremendous amount of work they have to do. All in all a good work out for the boys but the system and the team that would eventually play is still confusing.
I hope he plays Gallas and Verminator in the back line. I have a massive erection.

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