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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Manchester City vs. Arsenal

The City Of Manchester Stadium

02/02/08

12:45

On Sky

Man City V Arsenal Preview

Arsenal go into a vital away game at Manchester City tomorrow knowing that a win will see them return to the top of the league, even if it is only for a couple of hours. If nothing else, it applies pressure to United, who travel to face Tottenham at White Hart Lane laterin the day.

It'll a battle of tacticians, a clash of minds, a war of witts. Arsene Wenger is one of the greatest minds in football, there's no doubt about that. But I think that Sven is greatly under-estimated as a manager in this country. He never failed to qualify England for a tournament, and took a team of egos to three quater-final's. As oppose to McClaren, who took England nowhere.

He's worked miracles at City, taking them to 6th in the league where they're just 2 points off 4th placed Everton. A team that did little to nothing in anything of note, is now in a European place in the league, and playing some good football. Of course, it's not just because of Sven, it's down to the millions he's been given to spend, but money doesn't gaurentee anything.

That said, Citeh's form has been poor of late. They've won only one of their last six league games, a 2-0 win over Newcastle, and that's hardley outstanding considering their recent form. Last six (league): P6 W1 D 4 L1.

Arsenal's form has been pretty good. They've won their last three games 3-0 and have won four of their last six.
Last six (league): P6 W4 D2 L0.

Despite their poor form, Citeh will give it their all and play the attacking football that Sven believes in.

I don't need to tell you that Arsene Wenger's team will play attacking football. If I do need to tell you, please stop reading. Now.

Vital Quotes:

Sven spoke about his side's 1-1 draw with Derby in the week, and his hopes of grabbing that all-important fourth Champions League spot: 'There are 14 games remaining so we still have a chance to come fourth, hopefully.

'I think it
[Wednesday's 1-1 draw at Derby] was a missed opportunity but I can't blame the players for that.

'You play good, you try to play good, you have the right spirit, you create chances and you don't let Derby create too many chances, I'm happy with that.'


Arsene Wenger wants his team to show consistency in the league, obviously...: 'The only thing you want is for your team to respond because it's a race where the consistency will be rewarded - and the strength of character.

'I just want to look at how well we can respond in every game because I know that kind of consistency and stamina in performances will be determinant.

'We're up for it [the City game] and we are on a good run in the Premier League and we want to keep that going.'

Manchester City Team News:

Felipe Caicedo will not get his City debut tomorrow, he's not expected to join his new team untill next week.

Elano should return to the starting line-up after starting on the bench on Wednesday. Micah Richards will also retun from a knee injury.

Daniel Sturridge and Darius Vassell should start up front again after partnering one another agaisnt Derby.

Player to watch: Elano

One of the finest midfielders in the Premiership this season in my opinion. He's scored some outstanding goals and has an eye for a pass. He is to City what Fabregas is to Arsenal.

Arsenal Team News:

Arsenal's injury list is growing at a time when we really could do without it. Toure, Eboure and Song are all still away on international duty.

Almunia has a problem with his thumb, so Jens Lehmann looks set to continue in goal after keeping a clean sheet against Newcastle.

Player to watch: Flamini

The lad is on fire. There's not much more to say. He fights for everything. His performnce against Newcastle was out of this world. He scored one, set one up and stopped one at the other end. He'll be key to keeping Elano quiet.

Match Prediction:

You'll not believe this...I'm predicting a win! 2-1 Arsenal. Adebayor and Eduardo to get the goals that matter.




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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Simmonett  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 1 2008

Time: 10:55PM

Your Comments

I agree that it will be an arsenal win but I don't think City will score, don't think their front two are tat good at all. Lot will depend on our midfield and if Hlep and Fab are on song we should win and win well as City as not been playing that well recently and with the Arsenal team improving after the slump you'll want to be at your best too stop them.
Armory
Now that Simmo has predicted we will win, we are actually gonna lose now. Guarenteed!
itsup4grabsnow
3-0 to the arsenal yet again with ade,edurdo and fabregas with the goals
the arsenal
after simmo's prediction, i'm worried now
McGooner
am worried after simmo's prediction too but we will win the game,just hoppin the mancs draw!3points is all i need and care for fingers crossed
the arsenal
I was thinking 2-0 or even 3-0, but then I saw Simmo's 2-1 win prediction... worried now... LOL
Lou the Gunneress
Off topic, just saw on uefa.com that Gattuso - the original one in Milan, not ours - got injured and will be out for 3-4 weeks so he's not expected to play in the 1st leg at the Emirates. (Woohoo!)
Lou the Gunneress
looks like Almunia is out tomorrow with a dicky thumb, If we can nullify Petrov and get Mattuso to do his terrier thing on Elano then we can do 'em, no Gattuso in the 1st leg is a pretty hefty plus for The Arsenal.
nikolaijns
Yeah Niko, at the moment Petrov is more of a threat than Elano who's having a little bit of a dip in form. But yeah I agree with you that our Mattuso should be able to contain them. Without Corluka, with Richards just back from injury and with Ade/Edu in a working partnership, I think we should be able to win. Some Man City fans, players and Sven seem to have a soft spot for the Arsenal. They for sure also want us to grab the title from ManU this year. I hope they'll 'chip in' to our title challenge heheee!
Lou the Gunneress
i think this wil be an entertaining game, won i hope we win nicely.. then for once a year i will be hoping little tottenham do us a favour.. kinda like a double edge sword, you want spurs to win and gain us 3 pts, then again you will laugh if they get spanked at home big time ! aslong as we win tomorrow i suppose the rest will be happy either way, maybe the draw ! spurs 3-0 up, united score 3 late goals and get a draw !
PUREGOLD
Way too much to ask for the spuds to help us out - although with their new "best in the prem" back four (copyright vital sp*rs lol) they may be able to keep the deficit down to only two goals. Can't physically bring myself to wish any result for those plum duffs but I will be cheering on the pompey.
nikolaijns
Yeah Puregold, I'm hoping for a draw at the WHL too haha. But then they'll brag about drawing the league leaders blah blah blah. Taking the lead then screwing it up does sound like them though. But I don't think anyone can put 3 past ManU now so 1-1 would be great heheee.
Lou the Gunneress
Niko, will you cheer on Defoe in his Pompey debut then? LOL
Lou the Gunneress
grudgingly Lou....yes...much as I despise the philandering little munchkin.
nikolaijns
This will be interasting game with lot of goals. Maybe 2;2
Bosko-Macedonia
I think we will win 1-0, with Eduardo scoring.
AB_Arsenal
i foresee an eduardo brace.. as long as our defence is tight we'll win.. 3 clean sheets on the bounce
McGooner
schite!! simmo predicting a win?! surely due to get one right! Eduardo to score in 0-1 win.
G4L
I think this game is harder than you all think. City's record at their place is impressive, including victories with Man U and Villa, whilst drawing with Liverpool. This game could well be a potential banana skin. I think if you win you'll of done well... Meanwhile we'll be taking on Man U at the lane. Guess you'll all be cheering on the Spuds today. lol ;)
spurjon
lets win this and bag up 3 more points,heres to hopping the totts do us a favour and draw or beat the mancs,they have to stop that kid Ronaldo though
the arsenal
i want ade to get the golden boot,he surely desreves it
the arsenal
well, to the folks who predicted an ade and a dudu goal - credit to you good folk!!! two nil so far, 25 mins gone...
»»Arsene Knows««
Wingston75
Good goal by Eduardo.......
Scott Spur
Senderos does not inspire me with any sort of confidence. We definitely need a better central defender to support Toure and Gallas.
Gooner_Vin
man.. one mistake and they hv the chance to get back into the game..lets hope we get the 3rd goal early on and put the tie to bed
McGooner
And now City get the goal I did not think they would be able to score.....damn.
Armory
Well Clichy's mistake ruined a pretty good half by us, lets hope we can start the second half strong and get another goal quick to ease the pressure.
AB_Arsenal
Very good performance, and aside from Clichy's mistake we've been dominant. I am puzzled however to see most of the play coming down the left hand side when clearly our best winger is over on the right? Eduardo's goal was amazing, even if it was offside :)
Rocky7
Good point Rocky, also is it just me or is Ade become the new Henry of the team? Its like everytime someone has the ball they always pass it to him, especially when the ball is in the air, i think every ball that left the ground went to Ade in that half.
AB_Arsenal
Great goal by Eduardo. Sloppy play by Clichy for there goal but still think you will win the game 3-1.
will it ever happen
I don't know WIEH I feel we need a goal very soon otherwise I can see city equalise so much for my prediction.
Armory
3-1, mofos
»»Arsene Knows««
Wingston75
MOTM for Ade, he gets tripped at the half way line but continues to keep running until he gets to the box the ball comes to him and he puts it away, that is determination and class :)
AB_Arsenal
adebayor is GOD.. i think the league is lucky that ronaldo and adebayor are not playin in the same team.. n thank god adebayor didnt leave to united when they came knocking sometime last season.. give him a better contract n tie him down long term.. superb goal by eduardo, thats all he needs to do, 1 supergoal like that every 3 games and i wouldnt complain
McGooner
So glad we won but we have to start putting these games to bed erlier.
Armory
Ade is on fire,we matching on fellow goons,now hoppin the manc lose or draw
the arsenal
I don't think the mancs will loose points to day ta, the spuds will as usual drop theyr pants and bere theyr backside to utd rather than help the Arsenal, (unts.
Armory
It's never that easy to put games to bed. Man City are a decent team who don't concede loads of goals, so to score 3 against them we have done really well. I just hopw Man City beat Liverpool to the 4th champions league spot. I don't like Everton because of the arrogant w***** that is Moyes, so I want either City or Villa to do it!!
Ashburton Gooner
I agree with AG. Though I kept hoping for the 3rd goal to come soon, I felt City did well in not conceding for about 60 mins. Their home record's only broken now for a reason. Guess they won't be too unhappy helping us challenge the title against ManU. But Spurs must be thinking the same, for sure they'd rather ManU beat us to it, though they should do better than where they are in the table now. I kind of think Pompey stand a better chance of doing us a favour somehow.
Lou the Gunneress
AG and Lou I'm not saying that MC are a bad side it's just with all the dominance we had we should have put this game to bed a lot erlier, we had lot of corners, shots on goal and posession but once again faild to turn enough of them into goals and thats when we get punised.
Armory
spuds take the lead against the mancs...
»»Arsene Knows««
Wingston75
My god....don't ***** this up Spurs.
AB_Arsenal
They will AB they always do it could not happen..........could it?
Armory
Yeah but I'd still rather cheer on Pompey than Spurs, though I like Berbatov and am glad he scored which is good for us...
Lou the Gunneress
AB and Armory, you never know. ManU don't look sure to get one back either. Hee heee
Lou the Gunneress
If only the results could stay the same at full time! ManU 1-0 down and Chelsea 0-0, but I think Chelsea will score in 2H.
Lou the Gunneress
I agree Lou the russians usually get a dodgy goal from somwere and I'd not bee surprised if the mancs got a goal or two in SH.
Armory
Armory, if Lampard was playing, yeah I'd be expecting a dodgy or deflected goal somehow. But he's not there. They've hit the woodwork and come close on multiple occasions. Krancjar also cleared a shot on goal off the line. But with a good win ourselves, as long as ManU drop points at WHL, I'll be happy regardless of Chelsea's result.
Lou the Gunneress
No dodgy goal, pretty effective counter-attack, finished by none other than Anelka... Pompey did very well containing them for long though.
Lou the Gunneress
the mancs are losing and chelsea are drawing,hope it stays that way
the arsenal
The Arsenal, nah, Chelsea have taken the lead through Anelka on 55 mins. But Pompey are looking much better and the ground atmosphere's great.
Lou the Gunneress
Oh Defoe... the man Niko's cheering on... has equalised. So great!
Lou the Gunneress
1-1 Defoe scores, Spurs and a former Spurs player are helping us at the moment, who would of thought.
AB_Arsenal
ManU quite unusually don't look like scoring at the moment. And they'd be lucky if they don't have someone sent off, the way they play.
Lou the Gunneress
It would be nice if Ronaldo got sent off :)
AB_Arsenal
Chelsea's so desperate that they've sent on Pizarro for Malouda now hehee
Lou the Gunneress
*****......SPURSSSSSSS :(
AB_Arsenal
Spuds blew it again...good result for us though, back on top!
SUX2BU
Did you guys hear Fergie say "We might need to stay unbeaten from now on?" just yesterday? LOL
Lou the Gunneress
...and nice work Pompey!
SUX2BU
What happened at the end? My web TV just freezes on me! :( Dawson's OG?!?!? Wahahhahahaha
Lou the Gunneress
Sh!t I typed the previous message when ManU seemingly couldn't 'stay unbeaten' but they still did in the end - thanks to Dawson. Like many of us said before the games, you just can't rely on Spurs to do a job can you!?!
Lou the Gunneress
Yes good work by Pompey, but we could have used that extra point if Utd lost, damn you Tevez.
AB_Arsenal
I can't believe it! My web TV only stopped running on like 92 mins and I thought they could hold the lead to the end for once. Don't know what to say. But 2 points clear, we're 2 points clear!
Lou the Gunneress
It was a Tevez goal off a corner in the last play of the game, just poor defending and he tapped it in :(
AB_Arsenal
Yeah Pompey were really admirable. With 2 screens playing at the same time, I was watching them rather than the Spurs game. Apart from Anelka's goal, Chelsea didn't look very sharp with some of their key players out. And did you guys want to laugh or feel bad when Defoe missed those chances when he's clear on goal? LOL Probably trying too hard on his debut.
Lou the Gunneress
Yeah I saw the highlights just now. BBC originally got Tevez's goal wrong as Dawson's OG so I was really LOL! But this is good enough. For once I liked an early kick-off and sat back and enjoyed the games after. :)
Lou the Gunneress
what a good day to be a gooner,we are back on top!!!tottenham still find ways to dissapoint though
the arsenal
I'm sure I've also missed Berbatov's sulking big time at the end.
Lou the Gunneress
i thought the spuds had the best defence in the prem now?
the arsenal
The Arsenal, you can go over to Vital Spurs - they're blaming their defence now LOL they're really amazing!
Lou the Gunneress
Must watch MotD tonight, there must be some funny bits to watch. LOL
Lou the Gunneress
Great weekend for us gooners. We are now only 3 behind man utd in the goal difference stakes, they have an extremely tough match next week with it being a derby game (we all know that no matter how much better utd are compared to city the result doesn't always follow like that in such games) & Rooney is out of that match because he got booked today. Chelski have fallen 6 points behind so lets hope arsenal can really kick on & establish maybe a 4-5 point lead at the top!!
Ashburton Gooner
COme on Arsenal! HAte to say it but i was cheering on the spuds today - how typical of them to lose it in the last minute - nothings changed really has it! GReat day though, our closest rivals dropping points and we are top of the league say we are TOP OF THE LEAGUE!!!
Cesky
Did you guys watch the Gus Poyet post-match interview on BBC? He said "but you have to defend not just for 90 mins, but 93-94 mins." Hahahhaha. Watch tonight's MotD!
Lou the Gunneress
not just that AG elano too got a yellow unfortunately.....idiot hacked doen ade in the build up to ade's goal.....
karley
that means he misses the man u game......that was the only -ve from our game methinks
karley
Next week its chelsea v lpool and man utd v man city. one of man u and chelsea will hopefully drop points.
ian7
Karley, that's right, but Rooney got himself suspended in the next game by diving today, that's a bigger plus isn't it!
Lou the Gunneress
Arsenal win, Spurs, Man U and Chelsea don't. Perfect weekend if you ask me.
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