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Arsenal vs. Wigan

Emirates Stadium



Arsenal V Wigan Preview

Arsenal will go into the match against Wigan with all the injury problems we have come to expect.

While Arsenal are without several key players, Wigan are without their manager. Steve Bruce wasn't appointed in time to take charge of this game, so he'll have to watch from the stands.

Despite their injury problems, Arsenal will still be expeted to demolish Wigan, espically considering their fellow strugglers Tottenham put four past them before the international break.

Although this match will be a walkover on paper, Arsenal will have to be careful not to get complaicent. Wigan are not only fighting for their Premiership survival already, but they have a new manager to impress.

Vital Quotes:

Arsene Wenger believes Wigan are better than their total points tally so far would suggest: "Apart from the Tottenham game, where they were not at their best at all, the quality of Wigan`s game is better than the points they have got.

"After an international break and with all the players away I feel this is a big game for us. I am happy we play at home but I am conscious as well of Wigan because now they need points. That means you want all your players to be highly focused and concentrated.

"A quality of a big team is that you to win and to perform when people expect you to win and perform. It is part of being at the top level.'

Arsenal Team News:

Cesc Fabregas is suspended, Alex Hleb is out for upto a month with a hamstring injury, Mathieu Flamini is out for a week with a thigh injury, Abou Diaby is out with a back injury and Gilberto is suffering from jet-lag.

On a plus note, Van Persie returns to the squad after suffering from a knee injury, and Senderos also returns.

Diarra and Denilson are likely to start in the middle of the park, with Walcott and Rosicky patrolling the flanks.

Wenger is unlikely to risk starting Van Persie, so expect to see Eduardo getting a start after his performace against England on Wednesday.

Player to watch: Eduardo

Wenger has once again expressed his confidence in Eduardo. Le Boss believes that he will come good, and so do I. After his confidence-boosting performance against England, I expect the lad to put in a performance against Wigan.

Wigan Team News:

Wigan striker Emile Heskey will return for wigan after a lengthy spell out, but goalkeeper Carlo Nash is still out with a broken leg.

Player to watch: MIchael Brown

The former Spurs man has proven he can be as bigger thug as anyone in the Premiership. He'll be looking to get in amongst the creative Arsenal players.

I'm counting on Diarra to keep him quiet.

Ref Watch:

Peter Walton will do the deeds for this one. It'll be the first time he has taken control of either team this season. He's yet to issue a red card this season, however, he's issued an average of nearly 4 yellow cars per game.

Match Prediction:

I'm caustiously confident about this one. I'm going to punt for a 3-0 Arsenal. It'll be a tight affair, with Wigan looking to defend their 18-yard box for the entire 90 minnutes. Arsenal will grind them down eventually, with a brace from Eduardo and a goal from Theo.

The Journalist

Writer: Nick Simmonett  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday November 24 2007

Time: 11:29AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
agree - 3-0 eduardo brace and rosicky or maybe even denilson....
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24/11/2007 12:32:00

Should be wary about putting Bruces' model good looks up on the big screen today, he'll be onto his lawyers about his image rights.
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24/11/2007 12:55:00

I am a bit worried but still think we should win.
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24/11/2007 14:25:00

We are really not playing well at the moment :(
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24/11/2007 15:29:00

Fabregas is arsenal's kidney. Now seriously.... you think wenger masterstroked by selecting Mr.T as your captain?
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24/11/2007 16:18:00

I pity the fool!Who doesn't play me centre back!
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24/11/2007 16:21:00

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24/11/2007 16:45:00

Yes it was a masterstroke :)
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24/11/2007 16:47:00

ROSISKYYYYYY!!!!!! About time!!!!!
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24/11/2007 16:47:00

Bendtner has been the difference, good on him.
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24/11/2007 16:50:00

lol @ Kev! timing there mate, Gallas, Diarra and Rosicky were awesome and Utd lost to the Orcs!! 'appy feckin days.
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24/11/2007 16:59:00

Yes happy days and it was Anelka who scored, how nice of him :)
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24/11/2007 17:00:00

Happy to grind this one. Rosicky was our "Cesc" today. though he kept gettin kicked every time a touched the ball. Oh and Diarra was excellent today, better than Denilson....
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24/11/2007 17:01:00

And Fergie wanted him :-)
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24/11/2007 17:04:00

It was kind of boring. Except for the last 10 mins. Manchester lost.Hopefully we'll do the job at "pride" park.
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24/11/2007 17:04:00

wel my prediction was ever so slightly misguided but at least tommy gun scored and man u loosing is just great. Billy G for the golden boot?
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24/11/2007 17:05:00

Lasagna just did what he always does. Hell of a half player...
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24/11/2007 17:06:00

PS: doesnt this whole thing with Gallas captaincy show how little we know as people outside the club. And of course how much Arsene does... What a genius!
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24/11/2007 17:06:00

I have been wondering for a while now if Flamini was looking more like his old self and could use a rest, and after today's performance, Diarra can certainly play just as well, if not better than anyone else. Wonderful player.
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24/11/2007 17:07:00

Yep. I thought Diarra outshone Denilson. None of them came forward or made penetrating runs that often though.
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24/11/2007 17:09:00

Why on earth does Arsene Wenger hesitate to start with Bendtner? He usually does the business when he starts and does excellentely well when he comes on for the last 15 mins when we're chasing the game. Adebayor was poor today and I guess Arsene could have brought him off for Bendtner a little earlier...
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24/11/2007 17:12:00

rosicky had a gr8 game... !!! ps... did almunia do anythng 2day,,??!
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24/11/2007 17:14:00

am not so impressed with our midfield today, but glad we won it, with a clean sheet!
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24/11/2007 17:19:00

No Henry14 - we could've quite frankly played with a cardboard cut out of Manuel between the sticks today :)
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24/11/2007 17:27:00

But I am worried about Theo's injury. Any updates?
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24/11/2007 17:39:00

I think today proves our tremendous strength in depth in our squad. Missing van Persie, Fabregas, Hleb, Diaby, Flamini, would our main rivals cope without such quality? Well I think our question was answered at the Reebok this afternoon ;)
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24/11/2007 17:43:00

I am impressed with Diarra, he could be a very good replacement to Flamini and I think both should be rotated (the infamous Rafe's policy :) ). And Rosicky played a blinder as soon as he was put in the middle. He is much more valueble to us in that position. but the problem is Fab would occupy that role when he comes in. hmm problems, problems, problems (ie why AW gets paid the second biggest salary behind Willie G). I was not convinced with Billy even into this match if making him a captain is a good idea. Slowly but surely he is starting to convince me. long may it continue.
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24/11/2007 17:45:00

Well said Rocky. I was thinking the same thing before the start of the match. but didn't think to see the answer so soon :)
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24/11/2007 17:46:00

great result. the first real test of our season starts now. three away games in the space of a week. this will be a big big test for the team with all the injuries. and if we win all three, we will be up there come the new year. and for the sake of this fantastic team and wenger, i hope we win all three and keep our season going..
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24/11/2007 18:47:00

3 points without playing too well.. can't complain..
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24/11/2007 18:51:00

3 pts in the bag, and given the injury troubles, I would have taken this at the start. However, I didnt think our mid field of Diarra and Denilson were excellent, they ranged between good and average. I'm pleased for Rosicky, he had a very good game today.
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24/11/2007 19:16:00

theo's injury isnt as bad as it looked.. no fracture, no ligament damage.. he was kicked in a nerve and that caused his foot to go numb.. should be back next weekend.. seville away now.. gonna be tough but a midfield of fabregas n diarra sounds delicious.
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24/11/2007 19:20:00

There were a few interesting points to come out of todays game. Tommy and Gallas played well all game as did Diarra. Theo came more into the game the wider right he went. Eboue cant pass. His first touch is crap. Once Nic came on, he made the difference as Wigan now had to mark 2 big men.I am surprised Wenger doesnt use Nic more and I would like to see Jens get a run out this Tuesday against Sevilla. I doubt that will happen though. Heskey is still a shrek impersonate and Wigan will be relegated anlong with Sunderland and Derby.
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24/11/2007 19:34:00

I was at the game today and here are a few random thoughts : Diarra looked full of energy and fight - he never stopped and you could see he was bursting to do his best. Adebayor didn't have his best game but he still made some telling contributions. Bendtner looked threatening when he came on and seemed to have better ball control than Adebayor. Heskey's first touch when he came on was when he mis controlled it and it cannoned off his shin for a throw in to us. I ws near the away support and boy did we goad them for that ! Theo was maturing as his forward surges seemed to be more incisive than last season. Wigan made quite a few ugly challenges from behind - had it been one of us fouling like that there would have been a few reds. All in all a good day although we had to wait for the goals - and 'ole purple nose saw his side beat while being sent to the stands - perfect !
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24/11/2007 19:45:00

Good on Theo (and glad he's not badly injured), Rosicky, Gallas and the entire defence (bar one mix-up between him and Kolo that allowed a Wigan attack), Bendtner and especially Diarra. The more you look at it, the more you think it was a stroke of genius that Arsene appointed Gallas as captain. To be honest I wouldn't have expected that kind of drive and strong will to win from Gilberto or Kolo even though they give 100% every single time. Gallas is such a fighter. Great finish too, btw. With CL qualification already secured, Adebayor not at his best, RvP (who I thought was Ade's best partner, and Ade says he misses him) still out, I'd love to see Bendtner and Eduardo (who did well for their countries and then at this game, where I thought they came on a bit later than I thought they would) given a game up front, with the salivating combination of Cesc and Diarra behind them (sorry Gilberto!) to test if that'd work better than the Denilson-Diarra one which wasn't very effective today. But to be fair, it's really a patched-up team so no complaints there. And both youngsters deserve more playing time.
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24/11/2007 21:08:00

Off topic, but this is really cool - Arsene is really a "star man":
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24/11/2007 21:10:00

Theo played well. Adebayor had a spell. Rosicky tried hard, got reward, Diarra needs more games in the first team. Denilson will come in a bit later, needs more physical effort, but got taken out by that little**** marcus bent. And how both Bent & heskey stayed on the pitch is beyond belief. Red card for one b@stard should have come.. still 2-0 - hopefully relegation for the punks. Same team for sevilla, Hoyte or eboue for right back, rest sagna.. have bentner and eduardo in have adebayor on the bench.
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25/11/2007 05:08:00

Left it late, but 3 points is all that matters. great to see United lose as I really would like to see you guys win the league this season
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27/11/2007 11:42:00


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