Vital Football

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Arsenal V Man City

Manchester City

The Grove



Although tomorrow will be a testing game for The Gunners, Arsene Wenger's team will be somewhat relieved to face the in-form Man City.

Although City wont come to The Grove with the intention of playing exciting, attacking football, they wont come to kick lumps out of us, unlike most of our visitors. And hosts for that matter!

You can call Sven a lot of things, but a thuggish tactician is not one of them.

Expect the Swede to deploy a 5 man midfield, and try to keep the ball more than his team managed in the Manchester Derby last week.

Arsene Wenger has already confirmed his intention to play two strikers, so Van Persie will be a happy man, Sven will not.

Gilberto Silva might be rushed back to help contain the exciting Geovanni in midfield.

Vital Quotes:

Arsene Wenger heaped praise on new Citeh Gaffer Sven-Goran Eriksson'Maybe he [Sven] wants to show you how good he is. He is a very good manager.

'I know all his signings and they have done well.

'Sometimes you take a risk buying more than three players because you could disturb the unity of the team but they have clicked super-quickly.'

The former England manager can see some similarities between his approach and Arsene Wenger's to managment: 'Arsenal's policy is to buy young players and let them grow into a team and to some extent that is what we have done here.

'The players I have bought are already good but their best is still to come.

'I didn't want to buy any players who were well into their 30s and perhaps had done their best days.'

Arsenal Team News:

Good news for Arsenal fans. Adebayor and Gilberto Silva both return for Arsenal, while Denilson and Eduardo Da Silva came through their return from injury with no problems.

There is also some bad news, Gallas, as I'm sure you're all aware, will be out for at least 3 weeks with a groin injury. Jens Lehmann will also be out for a similar length of time with an Achilles problem.

Tomas Rosicky and Manu Eboue are also both still missing.

Player to watch: Van Persie

A strike partner will bring out the very best in Van Persie, and the probable lack of bullish tactics will also do the Dutchman no end of good.

Despite the excellent start to the season made by Kasper Schmeichel, I think Robin will have a superb game. His first Arsenal hat-trick? We'll see.

Manchester City Team News:

Rolando Bianchi will return to the City line-up after an injury to Valeri Bojinov ruled the striker out for 5 months.

Stephen Ireland is also likely to return after having the Spurs (squits).

Player to watch: Deiberson Geovanni

Could I have picked any other player after his start to the season?

He'll be a constant threat coming from midfield, and his lethal shot can be deadly, just ask Citeh's Manchester neighbours.

Ref Watch:

Chris Foy will over see the battle of the brains. He'll not take any mouth from the players, nor will he allow the managers to get too heated before he sends them packing.

Match Prediction:

Most people are predicting a cagey affair, not me. I know City will play a defensive game, but with the movement of Eduardo and the lack of Thuggery, I'm predicting a comfortable 3-1 win for The Arsenal.

Writer:Nick Simmonett
Date:Saturday August 25 2007
Time: 12:34AM


What about elano? he's surely THE MAN TO WATCH!?
25/08/2007 04:03:00
great to hear Adebayor is back. He is going to be perfect with RVP upfront,
25/08/2007 04:32:00
Yep great news about Ade but he wont start the game with RVP I am sure Dudu will and Ade will come on for him in 60 mins
25/08/2007 05:52:00
I hope we can rely on you to assist us in our quest to top the table by tonight :-)
25/08/2007 08:05:00
Elano has been by far Svens best signing so far. Geovanni has had an impact but his Man U goal was all luck and the West Ham goal was taken well but came off of someone elses good work and was due to West Ham pushing forward and there being no right back. Elano has assisted 3 of 4 City goals so far and he is their man main. If Gilberto is to start, which i hope he will, his main job will be holding Elano as everything goes through him.
Ozi Gooner
25/08/2007 08:57:00
Ozi you are right about everything going through Elano he is a very intelligent player! I share your hope that Bert will start as Flamini gets caught out of position far too often. I dont understand why Flamini spends most of the game in a position further advanced than Cesc as its not his role and it hinders the performance of Cesc as he is then left to cover. Flamini is another Zokora he runs about alot but contributes very little - he is weak in the tackle, has limited range of passing and far too often takes up poor positions. I appreciate his desire and commitment but at this level its not enough. We need to be very careful today this city team will punish us with super quick counter attacking football.
25/08/2007 09:48:00
I can see City winning this one . But since the other team's original "player to watch" is injured, you lot will probably win .
25/08/2007 13:00:00
I can see you losing, or at least drawing, to Portsmouth to Kev.
Ozi Gooner
25/08/2007 13:08:00
Bert in for Phillipe who injured himself in the warmup, our CBs are dropping like flies. Can we have Djourou back please!
25/08/2007 15:04:00
Sagna out now too
25/08/2007 16:12:00
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