Writer: Nick Simmonett
Date:Friday September 21 2007
Arsenal will be relieved to be facing a team such as Derby after playing Tottenham and Sevilla within 5 days of each other.
Arsene Wenger will have to ensure that that the tean do not under estimate Dery though, or a shock could be on the cards. It's sure to be a challenge for Wenger after the games Arsenal have played recently.
Some parts of the media would have you believe that Billy Davis' job depends partly on this game. If so, his posistion seems some what ominous.
We can expect a stark contrast in tactics from Derby after seeing Sevilla come an try to play an expansive game. Davis will pack the defence and 'park the bus', as they say.
Arsene Wenger hinted that he would be rotating when he gav his press confrence on Thursday: 'I will rotate a little bit and try to get the right mixture between stability and some fresh legs as well.
'Gilberto will be back, maybe Theo Walcott will start, I do not know yet. Eduardo down the left can be a possibility as well.'
Derby Gaffer Billy Daivs made an attempt to rally his troops ahead of his teams visit to The Grove: 'They're a good side but we must prove we can compete.
To do that we have to come up against the Arsenals and prove ourselves.
'This is the joy for someone like me, to come up against the very best in the very best league in the world.
'It will be fantastic to pit my brains against his. Everyone, all of the players, should look forward to it.'
Bad news for Arsenal. Tomas Rosicky and Alex Hleb have joined William Gallas, Manu Eboue and Jens Lehmann on the treatment table.
On the plus side, Big Phill is back after suffering a hip injury against Sevilla in the week.
The little man is yet to start a Premiership game for Arsenal, but his 2 goals in 2 cameo apperances will be doing his confidence the world of good.
He himself has come out and said that he is now over the initial nerves following his summer move from Zagreb.
Kenny Miller will be fit to start for Derby. Although both Giles Barnes and Darren Moore have recovered from injury, neither is ready to start.
The summr signing from Celtic is lethal in the box and he has the ability to punish teams if they give him time on the ball.
I'd hope that Toure will be the man marking him rather than Senderos, for obvious reasons.
Martin Atkinson will oversee his first Arsenal game of the season when he takes charge on Saturday. He has officiated two Premiership games this season, issuing 5 yellow cards.
I'd expect Arsenal to put at least 4 past a team like Derby. I can see Eduardo grabbing one, Fabregas, Adebayor and Van Persie getting goals.
Date:Friday September 21 2007
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|1. Man City||6||6||0||0||+13||18|
|6. Man Utd||6||4||0||2||+5||12|
|7. Crystal Palace||6||3||1||2||+3||10|
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