Writer: Nick Simmonett
Date:Friday December 29 2006
30th December 2006
A depleted Arsenal team travel to Bramall Lane on Saturday as Arsenal look to end 2006 on a high while Sheffield United will be looking to stop the rot after losing their last two games.
It's another potential banana skin for the Gunners though. An evening kick-off, It's going to be cold, wet and most worrying of all, it's in the north west.
Le Boss on the worrying injury crisis: 'We have viruses and everything at the moment.
'We don't have long-term injuries in fairness they are short-term, a few days. But at the moment a few days is missing two games.
'Hleb got injured on Friday on his shin. He is having an X-ray. We don't think it's that bad but he will miss this game.'
Sheffield United loud-mouth Neil Warnock: 'I'm hoping for six inches of snow, our preparation has not been as good as I would have liked.
'There has been a virus that has knocked out a couple of our players and then we had a few injury problems.
'The difficulty is that we have to play on Monday afternoon as well but the situation is that whoever is fit will have to play against Arsenal.'
Stephen Quinn and Derek Geary are both out while Danny Webber, Claude Davis, Michael Tonge and Keith Gillespie all face late fitness tests after being struck down with a virus.
Dubbed the 'poor man's Gerrard' he has a pretty powerful shot on him and he is always full of running.
Emmanuel Adebayor, Alexander Hleb, Theo Walcott, Emmanuel Eboue and Johan Djourou, William Gallas, Freddie Ljungberg, Abu Diaby and Thierry Henry are all missing for Arsenal. That's NINE players.
Song, Denilson and Aliadiere are all called up to the first team to cover for the injured players.
Baptista, Flamini and Hoyte are all expected to start.
The Dutchman is in fine form with a brace against Blackburn and the winner against Watford.
He is always up or a tear-up and will be a match for United's physical presence.
Arsenal an out 3-0 winners in the game at Ashburton Grove earlier in the season...
Alan Wiley will referee the match. He has dished out 51 yellow and 2 red cards in his 18 games this season. He was the man in black for the last meeting between the teams when he booked Cesc and Eboue for Arsenal. He was also the ref during Arsenal's 4-0 win ovr reading when he didn't book a single player and the 1-1 draw with Chelsea when he booked to players on each team
It'll be on the forum as usual.
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Date:Friday December 29 2006
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