Writer: Brice Coffer
Date:Friday January 16 2009
Kingston Communications Stadium
This week has been a sour dross for Arsenal fans, as everyone is eagerly anticipating a new signing yet, as always with this club, you are made to wait. But the good news is that football has returned, as Arsenal travel due north to take on a Hull team that is now in a completely polar state of confidence compared to when they visited the Emirates earlier in the year. At that time they were on the up, now they are very much so on the down, though they did win their last match.
Arsenal on the other hand have put together a three match winning streak and have not lost since our trip to Porto on the 10th of December. The squad looks to have settled since the injury to Fabregas, and now they must turn their attentions to working our way back into the Champions League positions.
Adebayor hasn't had the season we all expected, but the Boss still believes in his ability. 'He has not had the same form,' said Wenger. 'At the moment, he is working very hard to come back to good form and is on a good way.
'He had dropped off a little bit, but that can happen sometimes. Ronaldo scored 44 last year, and it does not look like he will score 44 this season, because he and Adebayor had exceptional numbers.
'What is important is that he works hard and contributes to the team - if he opens the way [to goal] for other players, for me it is the same [importance].
'He is looking to come back to his best now.'
Wenger wants his squad to focus on this match rather than the last one against Hull. 'We want to continue our progress - it is not about revenge.
'We feel we are on a good run and want to focus.
'I am confident that we look solid and have a team who can make results away from home.'
The big news for Hull City regards the imminent loan transfer of the highly talented African forward Manucho from Manchester United. If he can get a work permit by game time, then expect the 25 year old Angolan to line up against the Gunners on Saturday.
Kevin Kilbane will be in the running for a spot on the team sheet, but defender Kamil Zayatte is suspended. Though Andy Dawson and Anthony Gardner have recovered from minor knocks.
We all know the quality of strike Geovanni possess, but what worries me is where he likes to operate. Like van Persie, he operates between the midfield and defensive line, and with Arsenal not having a true defensive midfielder than I can see this positioning by Geovanni causing us problems again.
Really no new news to report. Song faces a very late fitness test, but no one else will return. Gallas, Silvestre, Fabregas, Walcott, Eduardo, and Rosicky are all still out.
I believe this is the make or break it game for Diaby in the centre of the park. If he is still ineffective through the first half of this encounter, expect Nasri to slide into the middle again, but this time for good.
It seems clean sheets are important to this squad
Arsenal have won all seven league games in which clean sheets have been kept.
Arsenal have kept back-to-back clean sheets for the first time in 17 league outings since mid-September.
Home and away
League (inc PL): Hull 2 wins, Arsenal 2, Draws 1
Prem: Hull 1 win, Arsenal 0, Draws 0
at Hull only
League (inc PL): Hull 1 win, Arsenal 1, Draws 0
Prem: Hull 0 wins, Arsenal 0, Draws 0
Rob Styles will be the head official for this match. He has managed thirteen matches this season handing out 42 yellows and 3 reds, one of them to our own Robin van Persie for his stupidity at Stoke. These numbers give him a 3.46 card per game average.
I think Arsenal will win this one and continue their good league form as of late. 3-1 to the Arsenal. van Persie, Adebayor x2, and Geovanni to get on the score sheet.
25/1 (Sun)- Cardiff (A)- FA Cup
28/1 (Wed)- Everton (A)- Premier League
31/1 (Sat)- West Ham (H)- Premier Leauge
Date:Friday January 16 2009
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