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Steaua V Arsenal

Steaua Bucharest

Ghencea Stadium



As with Arsenal's game against West Ham, this game is an easy one for Arsenal - at least on paper.

That will surely not be the case though as the Gunners are set for a cold night in Eastern Europe. The fact that Arsenal will be without as many as EIGHT first team players for the Champions League game.

Italian Massimo Pedrazzini took over from Gheorghe Hagi after Steaua lost to Slavia Prague on matchday one. Since then the Romanian's have won their first league game for over a month.

The Romanians have won 2 of their last 5 games in all competitions. One in the league, one in the cup.

Arsenal have won all of ther last 5 games. Infact Arsene Wenger's team have won all but 1 of their games this season.

Not bad for a team that were apparently skint and in crisis a couple of months ago.

Vital Quotes:

Steaua Bucharest striker Adrian Neaga is hoping his team can match Arsenal on the night, and even observed that Arsenal players are only human: 'Arsenal's players are human beings, like us.

Of course they are a very strong team, but we don't consider ourselves underdogs.

Steaua are a member of football's elite and we will play like equals against our visitors from England.'

Arsene Wenger explain that his attitude towards the Champions League has changed since he arrived at Arsenal: 'I want this club to win the Champions League but for my personal ego it is less important.

'I feel a manager should be judged more on his overall career than just winning one trophy.

'I was interested in that 10 years ago but a lot less now. You want to win it for different reasons. When you are very young you want to win it and say you are the best.

'When you have more experience you want to achieve it for the players and the club. You then want it less for yourself and to say how good you are.

'When you are 40 you want to win the biggest one and want everyone to talk about you. But I want to do it for this club because they have never done it.'

Steaua Bucharest Team News:

Lovin and Goion are both missing for the home side. (I've not got a clue what LD is on about at the bottom).

Other than that, no important team news.

Player to watch: Nicolae Dica

The Romanian striker was watched by Aston Villa during the summer as they looked to spend some of their Billionaire owner's cash.

They opted instead for Marlon Harewood.

That's not to say that he wont pose a threat. He managed 4 goals in 6 games during last season's competition.

Arsene Wenger will be well aware of what the striker can do, and I'm certain he'll have drilled into his defenders to mark him tightly.

Arsenal Team News:

The quartet of Jens Lehmann (elbow), William Gallas (groin), Rosicky (hamstring) and Eduardo (groin) are all out while Hleb, Adebayor, Diaby and new-found midfield general Flamini all face late fitness tests.

Wenger hinted that he might move Theo Walcott up front to partner Robin Van Persie.

Player to watch: Gilberto Silva

With Arsenal having so many injuries, Gilberto will be given a chance to show what he can do.

With his place, and potentially his Arsenal future at stake, he'll be wanting to impress Arsene Wenger to force his way back into the team.

I wouldn't mind betting he walks away with the man of the match award.

Ref Watch:

Even worse than Arsenal's team news is the news that Terje Hauge will referee the game. For those of you that don't remember him just cast your minds back to Arsenal's Champions League game with PSV last season. Enough said!

Match Prediction:

I'm going to back Arsenal, despite all their injury problems. It'll not be an easy game, European nights in eastern Europe never are. But I think the Gunners will come out 2-0 winners. Walcott and Van Persie with the goals.

Writer:Nick Simmonett
Date:Monday October 1 2007
Time: 10:13PM


They've lost two players on Saturday, Lovin and Goion. Do your research more rigorously simmo!!!
Little Dutch
01/10/2007 22:17:00
thats right simmo this is unacceptable!!...(whispers under his breath) where do we find these people
01/10/2007 22:24:00
If none of the 4 fitness doubts make it then I wouldn't be surprised if went 4-5-1 with RvP up front on his own, Walcott on the left Eboue on the right and then the 3 CM midfielders pick themselves. Details of Steaua injuries are posted on their web site which has an english language option. They don't seem too free scoring with only 6 goals in 8 games in their domestic league though they have only conceded 3.
01/10/2007 22:39:00
walcott to partner rvp? i hope not, judging by his performances so far. i hope bendtner partners rvp if ade's not 100%. i really think he deserves his chance, he has shown he can make a difference. meanwhile bert should get a start and this would be an occasion where his experience will prove invaluable. 3-0 to arsenal with rvp scoring a couple and one from a certain spanish midfield maestro.
01/10/2007 22:43:00
I do believe you chaps are trying to make me look bad. Well me and my mate's J & D are not impressed. If you read the invisible text you'll see that I do actually mention that. Come on lads, don't make me send the boys round. Now this intoxicated writer is off to further damage his liver. Tatty bye.
01/10/2007 22:46:00
Goian was rested for the match with Vaslui so he would have no problems starting with us...and he is going to to Steaua`s greatest threat! Where do you get ure info LD?
01/10/2007 22:57:00
I hope Wenger plays Bendtner. His aerial presence will really make a difference in a game like this if Eboue and Clichy can whip in some crosses. This is the way to kill eastern european teams.
Wyn Mills
01/10/2007 23:00:00
On the Steaua website report on their game on Saturday it says "We had Victoras Iacob sent off for elbowing and we also lost Lovin and Goian through injuries in the 14th minute, Baciu and Cristocea came on for them." Whether these injuries will keep them out or not I am not sure. There are reports that RvP also faces a fitness test for us.
01/10/2007 23:02:00
That was for the game before last...with UTA Arad, the one in with Iacob was sent off!
01/10/2007 23:22:00
if you thought martin troll is having a bad time at WHL... Steaua Bucharest owner Gigi Becali has vowed he will sack interim coach Massimo Pedrazzini if his side lose at home to Arsenal in the Champions League tomorrow...this is his 3rd game in charge by the way but we should not do him any favors regardless.
01/10/2007 23:38:00
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